Air China, in partnership with Boeing, Honeywell UOP, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, PetroChina and Pratt & Whitney, has completed a demonstration flight using a sustainable biofuel derived from biomass grown in China.
Air China's Boeing 747 aircraft, powered by Pratt & Whitney PW4000 94-inch engines, completed approximately a one-hour flight. No modifications to the aircraft or engine were required for the biofuel, which is a ‘drop-in’ replacement for petroleum-based fuel.
‘This flight is an important milestone for Air China and the aviation industry, as it demonstrates that aviation biofuels are viable and sustainable,’ says He Li, a senior vice president at Air China.
The flight was completed as part of the Energy Cooperation Program's Sustainable Biofuel Program, led by Boeing and other industry members, including Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney. Announced by the Chinese and U.S. governments in 2009, the program leverages government and private sectors for project development work in China across a broad array of clean energy projects.
In May 2010, Boeing, PetroChina, and representatives of the China energy sector and the global aviation industry announced the Sustainable Biofuel Program to provide strategic assessment of the potential for sustainable aviation biofuels in China, the first such effort in the Asian region.