Long-term testing of biofuel – Lufthansa securestomorrow’s mobility by conducting research anddevelopment work todayWorldw...
burnFAIR project will be about 6.6 million euros for       many years of experience in the production of bio-             ...
first fueled with jet A-1 and then with a blend of jetA-1 and HVO Biokerosene (Hydrotreated VegetableOil). To run this tes...
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Long-Term Testing of Biofuel: Lufthansa Development of Aviation BioFuels


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Long-Term Testing of Biofuel: Lufthansa Development of Aviation BioFuels

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Long-Term Testing of Biofuel: Lufthansa Development of Aviation BioFuels

  1. 1. Long-term testing of biofuel – Lufthansa securestomorrow’s mobility by conducting research anddevelopment work todayWorldwide mobility needs are on the increase, but fossil fuel resources are finite. This conflict demandsnew strategies for sustainable mobility and new approaches in the area of fuel. Little is known, forexample, about the effectiveness and properties of biofuels under the conditions of routine operations.For this reason Lufthansa is carrying out pioneer work and will be the first airline worldwide to usebiofuel for six months on regular flights.The primary goal of this long-term test is to gain on the environment, such as a reduction of CO2experience with a view to large-scale use later on, emissions. “The goal of our work is to devel­which will also create entirely new challenges for o ­ p a perspective for the technical feasibility,logistics on the ground. By making this commit- to demonstrate the economic and ecologicalment, Lufthansa gives direction to the research on sense of biofuels and to ensure supply secu-using alternative fuels in aviation. rity for Lufthansa,” says Buse. The other airlines within the Lufthansa Group are closely inte-Biofuels play a very important role for the future of grated into this initiative by means of regularaviation. It is a fact that biosynthetic fuels will replace exchanges.their fossil predecessors in air transport over thelong-term because the industry – unlike all other The burnFAIR project:modes of transport – is only able to use internal Everyday operations with biofuelcombustion engines for the foreseeable future and Lufthansa will be the first airline worldwide to testtherefore must find practicable alternatives to fos- biofuel in normal flight operations. In the context ofsil fuels. This task is interlinked with the aviation the research project burnFAIR, an Airbus A321 willindustry’s commitment to climate protection: Until fly regularly between Hamburg and Frankfurt over2020, an annual improvement of 1.5 percent in fuel a period of six months, using fuel that contains aefficiency will slow down the industry’s CO2 emis- 50-percent share of biosynthetic kerosene in onesions. And by 2050 the member airlines of the Inter- engine. The main goal of this long-term test is tonational Air Transport Association (IATA) aim at cut- gain experience and generate measurement datating CO2 emissions from fossil fuels by half when over a longer period of time. At the same time, thecompared with the levels of 2005. “We can meet effects of biofuels on the environment and on main-these enormous challenges only by applying a tenance and engine life expectancy can be stud­comprehensive package of measures, which in­­ ied. And a positive side-effect is that Lufthansa iscludes the use of biofuels,” says Joachim Buse, expected to avoid about 1,500 tonnes of CO2 emis-Vice President Aviation Biofuel at Lufthansa. In addi- sions. “This long-term test is pioneer work becausetion to the industry’s goals, the Lufthansa Group has so far airlines have tested biofuels only on indivi-set itself the goal of adding a share of synthetically dual test flights,” explains Buse. The total cost of theproduced fuel to conventional kerosene in accor-dance with current availability until 2020. In thiscontext, the company places great value on sustai-nable production methods.Towards an environmentally friendly future Long-term testing of biofuelwith Pure Sky® • Duration: 6 months“Pure Sky®” is the name under which Lufthansa • Type of aircraft: Airbus A321bundles all of the company’s activities con- • hare of biofuel: 50 percent, Scerning the future use of alternative fuels. It is on one enginemanaged by the Aviation Biofuel Department • Total investment: 6.6 million eurosthat was set up in 2009. Guiding this commit- • ach liter of biofuel is produced to Ement is part of the Group’s strategy, which is sustainable standards.reported directly to the Executive Board andthus has the highest level of priority. The prereq­uisite for the use of biofuels is their availability,economic feasibility as well as positive effectsa Balance 2011 | Climate and Environmental Responsibility
  2. 2. burnFAIR project will be about 6.6 million euros for many years of experience in the production of bio- Lufthansa. fuels. The fuel used by Lufthansa is based on pure biomass (Biomass to Liquid, BTL). The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is Lufthansa’s project partner for burnFAIR. Among other tasks, The raw materials for biosynthetic kerosene include DLR scientists are responsible for measuring rapeseed oil, palm oil and animal fats, and long- exhaust gases directly at the engine and analyz­ term oil-rich energy plants such as Jatropha, Came- ing all insights together with Lufthansa’s experts. lina or algae. For the production of fuel to be used Germany’s Federal Government supports burn- on burnFAIR flights, Neste Oil uses Jatropha oil FAIR as well as the higher-ranking project FAIR from Indonesia and rapeseed oil, while animal fats, (Future Aircraft Research) with about 2.5 million the third component, come directly from Finland. euros each through the aviation research program From Lufthansa’s perspective, Jatropha is the best LUFO. Within the framework of burnFAIR, the Tech- basis for biofuel. “But there’s not enough of it at the nical Universities in Hamburg-Harburg and Munich, moment,” explains Buse. “For this reason, we will Bauhaus Luftfahrt in Munich, Airbus Operations very likely not be able to buy the quantity of Jatro- GmbH, EADS in Munich, the engine manufacturer pha oil needed for the 1,400 test flights. We will MTU Aero Engines and Hamburg Airport are study- compensate for the discrepancy with certifiably ing the tolerability of biofuels. This is complement­ d e sustainable palm oil in order to be able to carry out these flights in the first place. This is a temporary solution that we consider acceptable, given the excellent potential.” Protecting the rain forest is an important concern for “Biofuel can only make sense for Lufthansa. For this reason, the company is a mem- Lufthansa if the entire test process ber of the Sustainable Alternative Fuel Users Group results in a positive CO2 balance (SAFUG) and thus also a member of the Roundta- sheet, meaning a CO2 reduction. ble for Sustainable Biofuels (RSB). This latter places This long-term test is pioneer work strict criteria on the environmental compatibility of because so far airlines have tested generating biomass to prevent adverse effects on biofuels only on individual test flights.” agriculture and nature conservation. Among the Joachim Buse RSB’s members are WWF International, the Interna- Vice President Aviation Biofuel at Lufthansa tional Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Öko-Institut and the Gold Standard Founda- tion. “No rain forest is cleared for the biofuel used by Lufthansa. And there is also no competition with by comprehensive research topics concerning the food and animal feed production,” emphasizes analysis and assessment of production paths for Buse. different fuels. Here, the participating experts will select the most promising fuel types. A positive effect on the environment is another condition for the planned long-term test in normal Certifiably sustainable fuel flight operations. “Biofuel can only make sense for According to the current state of research, syn- Lufthansa if the entire test process results in a posi- thetic fuel from biomass is the best alternative for tive CO2 balance sheet, meaning a CO2 reduction. tomorrow’s environmentally friendly and sustainable This is our own yardstick and it is the yardstick fuel supply. In the course of the long-term test, applied by others,” adds the head of the Aviation Lufthansa will use about 800 tonnes of biofuel that Biofuel Project. comes exclusively from raw materials grown with sustainable methods, whose certification can be Logistics and infrastructure are in place followed back to the respective growing areas. This Besides sourcing a sufficient quantity of biofuel, biofuel is not different from conventional jet A-1 fuel. the logistics needed for the test run proved to be a In purchasing this fuel, Lufthansa pays great atten- challenge during the preparation phase. Thus, for tion to an environmentally friendly production and logistical reasons, the Airbus A321 is only fueled in delivery system: The licensed suppliers must prove Hamburg. Lufthansa leases an aboveground tank the sustainability of their processes and raw materi- at Hamburg’s port that is specifically equipped for als. The producer of the biosynthetic kerosene is the storing aviation fuel. At Hamburg Airport, two apron Finnish mineral oil company Neste Oil, which has tanker trucks are used to refuel the aircraft, which isClimate and Environmental Responsibility | Balance 2011 a
  3. 3. first fueled with jet A-1 and then with a blend of jetA-1 and HVO Biokerosene (Hydrotreated VegetableOil). To run this test, Lufthansa also has to modifynumerous internal processes as its aircraft are usu-ally not deployed exclusively on one route, but onrotations that include a number of destinations.Simultaneously, Lufthansa is completing impor-tant preliminary steps to set up a sustainable sup-ply chain. Licensed fuel suppliers have to provethe environmental compatibility of their processes,among other criteria.Four pillars for climate protectionThe use of biosynthetic kerosene is one element ofthe proven four pillar strategy of the aviation indus- Energy plants containing oil, such as Jatropha, are raw materials for biosynthetic kerosene.try, designed to reduce the industry’s overall emis-sions and protect the Earth’s climate. This conceptcomprises innovations in aircraft and engine tech-nology, which includes alternative fuels. In addition,the concept includes operational measures (such Lufthansa is preparing for emissions tradingas optimal flight routes and speeds) and econo- Climate protection continues to enjoy a high level of priority in the aviationmic tools, such as global emissions trading. Howe- industry. The industry has set itself ambitious goals concerning the worldwidever, the largest savings potential is provided by an reduc­­ of CO2 emissions and developed a far-reaching four pillar strategy to tionimproved infrastructure, especially in the guise of achieve these goals. On January 1, 2012, air transport will also be included inthe planned implementation of a unified European the EU’s emissions trading. As a result, airlines must present CO2 certificates forairspace (Single European Sky or SES) as Europe’s all flights taking off and landing within the European Union. Compared to thelargest climate protection program. Only a combi- globally-oriented four pillar strategy, the EU’s emissions trading is only a regionalnation of different measures will allow the aviation regulatory approach with significant competitive disadvantages and cost-inten-industry to reach its ambitious environmental goals. sive effects for European airlines.The use of biofuel in scheduled operations is theconsistent continuation of the sustainability strategy At Lufthansa, the preparations for participating in emissions trading are alreadythat Lufthansa has been pursuing successfully for far advanced, despite difficult general conditions, highly complex issues andmany years. numerous unanswered questions. For example, a unified EU standard is mis- sing, which increases the bureaucratic efforts for all parties concerned. Accord­ ing to current information, 16 companies within the Lufthansa Group alone will participate in emissions trading, having to report to seven national authorities using different formats and applying different requirements. Lufthansa and the entire aviation industry contend that effective climate pro- tection cannot be achieved by means of isolated regional measures, but only through global solutions. Therefore, a sensibly designed emissions trading system should include all countries and airlines so that competitive neutrality is ensured.a Balance 2011 | Climate and Environmental Responsibility