China Eastern Airlines has just announced that it will begin operating commercial flights which run on 100% biofuel, having completed a successful trial of the renewable aviation fuel on Wednesday.
After an 85 minute test flight, running on a biofuel made from a blend of palm oil and recycled cooking oil by Sinopec, the Airbus A320 landed at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport reporting no problems, or differences from traditional aviation fuel.
Huang Zhongwen, the deputy director of publicity at Zinopec, said that they “have developed two kinds of biofuel, palm oil and waste cooking oil, and the fuel we used during this flight was palm oil. We have the capability of turning waste cooking oil into jet fuel, although the cost will be higher than producing ordinary fuel.”
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Biofuels have become increasingly popular in the airline industry as a manner to counter rising oil prices, and reduce the sectors carbon emissions. In 2011 Air China demonstrated the use of a biofuel produced entirely from the jatropha plant; and other major airlines, such as KLM, Lufthansa, BA, and United Airlines, have also carried out their own experiments with a variety of biofuels.
Earlier this month the White House extended a programme that supports the production of one billion gallons of aviation biofuel by 2018.