I clocked this interesting piece of news about Bio Fuels on my Twitter feed this weekend.
Apparently KLM Royal Dutch Airlines are about to introduce a new bio fuel to 200 of their Flights. They will be run on biokerosene on flights between between Amsterdam and Paris.
In 2009 they found it was technically possible to fly on biokerosene when they flew a demonstration flight. They are now receiving certification to operate commercial flights on bio fuel.
These flights will be operated on bio fuel made from Used Cooking Oil.
Apparently KLM is open to using different raw materials for the end product, as long as they meet a range of sustainability criteria, including reductions in CO2 emissions and limited negative impact on biodiversity and food supply. The bio fuels will also have to meet the same technical specifications as traditional kerosene and must not require any adjustments to aircraft engines.
I know there are firms working on extracting oil from plants and they are developing plantations to enable them to produce this ‘green oil’ as aviation fuel.
KLM’s fuel is produced by Dynamic Fuels and supplied by SkyNRG, a consortium launched by KLM and North Sea Group and Spring Associates in 2009.
KLM are being supportive of a WWF energy report which argues that alternative fuels made from biomass are the only appropriate replacement for fossil fuels for such sectors as the airline industry.
The route to 100% sustainable energy will no doubt be enormously challenging and the costs of bio fuels will need to come down substantially and permanently in order to be viable for the aviation industry in the longer term. KLM reckon this can be achieved through innovation, and legislation that stimulates bio fuel in the airline industry.
I have no idea how effective KLM’s initiative really is; commercially, technically or in terms of true green sustainability. However, I thought this to be an interesting and very positive development.
I am interested to hear any comments from environmental campaigners or engineers who may have a view or critique on what KLM are doing.