15 things to know about biofuel for aviation

I personally have been using biofuel, ethanol, in my car, since 2017. Here in France is not taxed so it cost considerably less than half the price of gasoline and a little less than gasoil. My engine is very clean, as well as the oil, it delivers the same power and acceleration, maybe a tiny bit less, but I can barely perceive it, if at all.

Biofuel, a good way to sustainable avation?

  1. Is biofuel for aviation similar to that for gasoline cars?
    When it comes to their fuel for aviation, is not ethanol but rather something that has a texture and features similar to those of gasoil or kerosene. Indeed it’s very similar to biofuel used for decent cars
  2. How do they produce biofuel?
    They use natural renewable raw materials such as plant oils, wood chips, waste coming from the food industry and agriculture instead of fossil fuels.
  3. Who produces biofuel?
    There are some companies producing only biofuels, but the most oil majors, like BP, are the producers of biofuels.
  4. Can biofuel damage biodiversity ?
    Not at all.
  5. Can it take away land from agriculture, thus causing food prices to climb?
    Yes, but to a limited extent, especially in as much most of it, from food and agricultural waste.
  6. Does biofuel reduce CO2 emissions
    Yes, from 30% to 70% depending on the type of raw material used to produce it, logistics, etc. Biofuel is produced in the USA for local aviation, so there’s no production of CO2 coming from imported oil, that could come from the Middle East.
  7. Does it pollute less than kerosene?
    Yes, since it doesn’t emit as much toxic gas, and less particles.
  8. When was biofuel mixed with kerosine used on a commercial flight?
    Biofuel was certified for aviation in 2011 and KLM was the first airline to fly with a small percentage biofuel on a commercial flight. The biofuel was supplied by SkyNRG, a Dutch company established by KLM and others, which is now the market leader in providing sustainable jet fuel.
  9. Do other forms of transport use biofuel?
    Biofuels for transport have been around as long as cars have. At the start of the 20th century, car manufacturer Henry Ford planned to fuel his Model Ts with ethanol, and early diesel engines were shown to run on peanut oil.
  10. Is biofuel expensive?
    The price of sustainable biofuel has dropped from six times the price of fossil kerosene to two to three times since 2012. since the adoption of biofuel keeps increasing, large scale economies will be achieved, thus making it cheaper and cheaper.
  11. How is biofuel supplied?
    Oslo Airport Gardermoen was the first airport to add biofuel to its existing fuelling system at the beginning of 2016. Until then, biofuel had to be supplied by separate tank trucks.
  12. Are there flights that use 100% biofuel?
    It’s not yet possible to operate flights using 100% biofuel. Due to aviation’s strict quality guidelines, biofuels are always mixed with conventional fossil kerosene to a maximum of 50%. This question says something about the technical possibility per flight. The share of sustainable kerosene in 2019 was 0.18% of our total fuel consumption.
  13. Do engines need adjustment when using biofuel?
    Biofuel is a so-called “drop-in” fuel? This means you can simply add it to fossil kerosene and use it without any adjustments to the engines.
  14. Does KLM use biofuel on all flights?
    No. Unfortunately, too little sustainable kerosene is being produced to be able to use on all our aircraft. KLM did start (2016) using biofuel on all flights from Los Angeles this year and will do so for the next three years. This fuel is supplied by SkyNRG from the new Los Angeles-based bio refinery AltAir Fuels.
  15. Do aircraft manufacturers promote biofuels?
    Yes, many of them, notably Airbus and Boeing, as I wrote on this blog. Among private jet manufacturers, Gulfstream uses biofuels for its test flights.