From Frankfurt to Washington on biojet

After six months of testing, Lufthansa powers a regularly scheduled flight from Frankfurt to D.C. on Neste Oil's NExBTL biojet fuel.
By Ron Kotrba | January 12, 2012

Renewable diesel producer Neste Oil issued the following press release today regarding use of its NExBTL fuel on a regularly scheduled Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Washington, D.C. The commercial flight comes after a six-month trial period. The release is below.

Neste Oil's NExBTL renewable aviation fuel will be used for the first time to power an intercontinental flight when Lufthansa flies a regular scheduled service from Frankfurt to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 12 using the fuel. Lufthansa calculates that using biofuel on the flight will reduce airborne CO2 emissions by as much as 38 tons, equivalent to the CO2 released by six flights between Frankfurt and Berlin.

The flight will mark the end of a six-month trial by Neste Oil and Lufthansa during which the airline flew a total of 1,187 flights between Frankfurt and Hamburg using Neste Oil's NExBTL renewable aviation fuel.

Lufthansa announced in a press release issued on Jan. 9 that its renewable aviation fuel trial has been a success and has met the company's expectations. A total of approximately 1,500 tons of CO2 emissions were eliminated during the trial. Thanks to the higher energy density of the fuel, also the fuel consumption was reduced by more than 1 percent.

"The fuel behaved excellently and is perfect for aviation use," said Joachim Buse, Lufthansa's vice president-aviation biofuel, during a teleconference with media on Jan. 11. "There were absolutely no problems during the flights, and the aircraft engines performed exactly as they would flying on conventional fossil-based Jet A-1."

"It is very satisfying to hear that our renewable aviation fuel performed exactly as it should," says Matti Lehmus, Neste Oil's executive vice president-oil products and renewables. "Neste Oil's NExBTL renewable aviation fuel is 100 percent compatible with aircraft engines currently in use, and no additional investments or modifications to the aircraft or their engines are needed. We are looking forward to hearing more details on the results of the trial with our new fuel."

Following the end of the trial, Neste Oil and Lufthansa will continue to cooperate in the renewable aviation fuel area, initially focusing on research into various raw materials suitable for producing this type of fuel. The two companies will also collaborate in other areas of biofuel research and will share a joint stand at the International Green Week Berlin event to be held between Jan. 20 and Jan. 29.