Airbus fly an A380 with one engine using synthetic jet fuel

In November 2007 Qatar Airways, Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Fuel Company, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Shell International Petroleum and the Qatar Science and Technology Park signed an agreement to research the potential benefits of synthetic jet fuel in aviation engines. Less than three months later the first test flight under that agreement took place.

An Airbus A380 aircraft has successfully completed a flight with one of its four engines running on a blend of synthetic jet fuel and normal aviation fuel. The three hour flight from Filton in the UK to Toulouse, France, is the first in a test flight programme that is designed to evaluate the environmental impact of alternative aviation fuels. Airbus also intends to study viable second generation biofuels when they become available.

Airbus A380

Shell International Petroleum provided the Shell GTL Jet Fuel that it produced from natural gas using the Fischer-Tropsch process. This process is not environmentally friendly in that it results in significant CO2 emissions during the production process. The up side is that it produces fuel that is very clean and with little or no sulphur content. As a result of its cleanliness it produces less pollutants when burnt in a jet engine. However, as far as I know it still produces more CO2 through its life cycle than normal jet fuel although the 119 percent figures I am thinking of are based on coal-to-liquid. Gas-to-liquid may be better.

The US Air Force has certified similar synthetic fuel for use in B-52s and C-17s (previous post) so while this was a significant achievement for Airbus and partners it is not a first for modern aviation.

Source: Airbus and Shell via Sky News

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One Response

  1. […] skrevet av Snuble Leste i TU at A380 er testet med gassmotor februar 2008. Airbus fly an A380 with one engine using synthetic jet fuel Envirofuel – Promoting sustainable mobil… Det som er skandalen i det hele er at Norge er storprodusent av naturgass og ikke ligger i […]

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