Boeing has completed the world’s first flight using ‘green diesel’ – a type of biofuel that is already used in ground transportation.
The US planemaker powered its ‘ecoDemonstrator’ Boeing 787 aircraft with the fuel last week, in a test flight in the skies above Seattle. The fuel was a blend of 15% green diesel and 85% petroleum-based jet fuel.
“Green diesel offers a tremendous opportunity to make sustainable aviation biofuel more available and more affordable for our customers,” said Julie Felgar, Boeing’s managing director of environmental strategy & integration.
“We will provide data from several ecoDemonstrator flights to support efforts to approve this fuel for commercial aviation and help meet our industry’s environmental goals.”
Green diesel is made from vegetable oils, waste cooking oil and waste animal fats. With production capacity of 800 million gallons (three billion litres) in the US, Europe and Asia, Boeing believes that green diesel could “rapidly supply as much as 1% of global jet fuel demand”.
And with a wholesale cost of about US$3 per gallon, the price of green diesel is comparable with traditional jet fuel.