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Published on : Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Lufthansa is continuing its pioneering work in the testing of alternative fuels. As part of the EU “Blending Study” project, the company has now conducted a rig test at Lufthansa Technik’s facility in Hamburg. Experts involved in this project have been examining the possible impact on aircraft emissions and engine performance of blending farnesane, a new biokerosene component made from biomass sugars, with conventional kerosene.
Initial lab tests performed to date on a range of fuel blends made from farnesane and conventional kerosene indicate that blending can improve emission properties. The purpose of the practical test carried out by Lufthansa with the support of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), was to verify these findings. Farnesane is expected to be certified as a blending component with a maximum blend ratio of ten per cent in the first half of 2014. It is produced by Amyris, a US-based biotech firm, and is currently being developed as a blending component in cooperation with the French oil company Total.
The “Blending Study” project is concerned with the blending behaviour of various combinations of conventional kerosene and different types of biokerosene. This is also a significant factor with regard to the future use of biokerosene mixes in routine flight operations, the widespread availability of this fuel component at airports and the storage and throughput of biokerosene blends.
By participating in the research project, the Lufthansa Group is making a significant contribution to the lab-to-market development of alternative fuels as well as to quality assurance. As early as 2011, Lufthansa became the first airline worldwide to successfully test the use of biosynthetic fuel on scheduled flights.