JAL set to test biofuel for commercial use
JAPAN Airlines (JAL) plans to test the use of biofuel for one of its aircraft next year, in its search for a sustainable and viable fuel for commercial use.
JAL public relations manager Stephen Pearlman said it will hold a one-hour demonstration flight out of an airport in Japan sometime before March. It will be the first biofuel demonstration by an Asian carrier.
"The second-generation biofuel blended with jet fuel will be tested in one of the four engines of a JAL Boeing 747-300 aircraft equipped with Pratt & Whitney engines.
"The goal is to find an alternative fuel that will help reduce the impact of carbon dioxide emissions generated by the aviation industry, while also reducing the industry's reliance on traditional petroleum-based fuels," he told a group of visiting journalists in Tokyo recently.
JAL Group has been working with the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau and a group of other companies to test biodiesel fuel that has been refined from waste tempura oil collected from restaurants at Tokyo's Haneda Airport, added Pearlman.
It opted to use a second-generation biofuel which is exponentially more efficient and sustainable energy than first-generation counterparts and it does not compete with natural food or water resources.
In terms of procurement, JAL is conducting a major fleet renewal through the introduction of more fuel-efficient aircraft.
With 270 aircraft in its fleet, the group now has outstanding orders for some 80 new aircraft including the 787 and E170.
The JAL Group is targeting to cut fuel consumption by 2010 and CO2 emissions by 20 per cent in terms of transported capacity and, has to date achieved a 16 per cent reduction since 1990.
"Our total CO2 emissions in fiscal 2007 were 15 million tonnes, down 0.77 million tonne or 4.9 per cent from the previous fiscal year.
"This reduction was achieved not just through fleet renewal but also through a range of fuel consumption reduction measures."