Canadian Biomass Magazine

Results of biofuel test flight reveal reduced emissions

January 8, 2013

readijet-fuelingJanuary 8, 2013 Ottawa, ON — Results from the world’s first flight powered by 100 percent biofuel that met petroleum fuel specifications without blending revealed a 50 percent reduction in emissions and reduced fuel consumption.

The results, released by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), show that ReadiJet, produced by ARA and Chevron Lummus Global from Agrisoma’s Resonance feedstock and in partnership with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), reduced emissions and provided better fuel efficiency than petroleum aviation fuel.

NRC flew the first civil jet powered by 100 percent unblended biofuel on October 29, 2012, achieving a milestone for the aviation industry. The Falcon 20 flew with both engines on ARA/CLG’s ReadiJet biofuel at 30,000 feet, similar to regular commercial aircraft altitude. A second aircraft, the T-33, tailed the Falcon in flight and collected emissions data.

Information collected in-flight and analyzed by a team of National Research Council experts revealed a 50 percent reduction in aerosol emissions when using ReadiJet biofuel compared to conventional fuel. Additional tests from the static engine show a significant reduction in particles (up to 25 percent) and in black carbon emissions (up to 49 percent) compared to conventional fuel. These tests also show comparable engine performance, but an improvement of 1.5 percent in specific fuel consumption during the steady state operations. The jet’s engines required no modification as the biofuel tested in-flight meets the specification test property limits of petroleum-based fuels.

“We are pleased with these positive results. The flight went smoothly and the data collected enables us to better understand the impact of biofuel on the environment,” said John R. McDougall, President of the National Research Council of Canada. “We will continue to work with our partners Applied Research Associates, Chevron Lummus Global, and Agrisoma Biosciences, Inc. to bring this effective energy solution to market. The final product will be a sustainable option for reducing aviation emissions.”


“Partnering with NRC Canada’s outstanding team to fly the first ever 100% biofuels flight with a fuel that meets petroleum specifications test property limits without blending was historic,” said Chuck Red, ARA’s Biofuel program manager. “Their exceptional data collection capabilities and detailed analysis shows that our ReadiJet, which produces much lower lifecycle green house gas emissions than petroleum, will also contribute to a cleaner environment with significantly lower aerosol, particle, and black carbon emissions.”

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