Today Lufthansa completed the first revenue passenger flight on sugar-based biofuel en route from Frankfurt to Berlin. After the six-month test flight program “burnFAIR” in 2011 the airline demonstrated yet another innovative and eco-friendly fuel.
Siegfried Knecht, Chairman of the German aviation initiative for alternative fuels aireg: „Lufthansa`s claim to leadership in the dynamic sector of advanced biofuels is an important driver for the overall development of alternative aviation fuels. Now it is up to policy makers to support the energy transition in aviation, as well. The “10,000-tonnes-biojet-program”, which the German Federal Government announced in 2013, needs to be implemented as soon as possible. With the new fuel farnesane, we now have another promising option at hand.”
Farnesane has been developed by Amyris in California and can be blended with fossil jet fuel up to 10%. Investor and distribution partner of Amyris is the oil company TOTAL. Whereas sugar is currently being used as a feedstock, farnesane will be derived from bagasse, the residue of sugar cane processing, in the future. The use of residues prevents a demand increase for food products, which is why the European Commission supports their application.
On the occassion of today’s demonstration flight Lufthansa also announced to further develop jatropha oil as a feedstock option. Together with JatroSolutions, an EnBW-backed start-up company, the airline has signed a Memorandum of Understanding that envisages the common development of a jatropha oil supply chain for the production of bio-synthetic jet fuel.