The Dutch carrier KLM is the first airline in the world to move beyond the testing and promotion phase of using biofuels in one if its jets and is actually started using the stuff in service. The first flight occurred this week on a regularly scheduled flight from Amsterdam to Paris.
The Boeing 737-800 (similar to above) carried 171 passengers on June 29 burning a 50/50 blend of traditional jet fuel and used cooking oil. The company says it expects to be using the blend on more than 200 flights by September.
Just about every jet fuel consumer in the industry has promoted the use of biofuels over the past couple of years. A wide range of sources are being used from camelina and algae, to sugar and used cooking oil. KLM says they plan on continuing the use of cooking oil in the immediate future, but it is looking at other options as a source for their “biokeorsene.”
In 2009 KLM laid claims to the first biofuel passenger flight of any sort, though that was purely ademonstration flight with one of a 747’s four engines running on a camelina derived fuel.
Last month provisional manufacturing standards were announced for biofuels in aviation clearing one of the final hurdles for aircraft operators to begin more widespread use. Like many emerging technologies, the cost of biofuel remains as one of the issues still to be resolved.