Sustainable alternative fuels
The Lufthansa Group secures tomorrow’s mobility by conducting research and development work today
Worldwide mobility needs are on the rise, but fossil fuel resources are finite. This conflict demands new strategies for sustainable mobility and new approaches in the area of fuel. Alternative fuels with a substantially lower net CO2 output are a crucial component in all future efforts to permanently reduce emissions.
Lufthansa Group aircraft fly from Oslo with biofuel
From January 22, 2016, the Lufthansa Group will fuel its aircraft at Oslo Airport with a biofuel blend. AirBP, the Norwegian airport operator Avinor and biofuel specialist SkyNRG have joined together to provide airlines at Gardermoen Airport with biofuel for jets. The Lufthansa Group was the first airline group to confirm it was using biofuel from Air BP Aviation. As such, it is continuing on its chosen path of research, trials and use of alternative fuels.
Air BP Aviation intends to pump 1.25 million liters of sustainably produced and appropriately certified biofuel into the tanks at Oslo Airport for a period of one year. The approximately 5,000 flights of all the airlines in the Lufthansa Group that take off from the Norwegian capital (Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Germanwings, Brussels Airlines), will then fly with a biofuel blend.
Long-term trial of biofuel
In 2011, Lufthansa became the first airline worldwide to use a biofuel mix in scheduled daily operations when it conducted a six-month test run with an Airbus A321 on the Frankfurt-Hamburg route. The long-term trial was accompanied by detailed measurements of emissions as well as by research on production processes and biomass availability. The final report on burnFAIR is now available for download at aireg.de.
Long-term testing of biofuel
- 15 July – 27 December 2011
- Type of aircraft: Airbus A321
- Share of biofuel: 50 percent, on one engine
- Total investment: 6.6 million euros
- Each liter of biofuel is produced to sustainable standards.
On 15 September 2014, the Lufthansa Group marked another milestone in its pioneering work in the testing of alternative fuels. The Lufthansa flight LH 190 from Frankfurt to Berlin Tegel was operated using a ten percent blend of the new biofuel component farnesan. This was the first scheduled flight in Europe to run on this fuel mix. Farnesan is a sugar-based bio-kerosene developed jointly by the TOTAL oil group and the U.S.-based biotech company Amyris, which in April of this year received RSB (Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials) Certification.
The flight was preceded by a rig test at Lufthansa Technik’s facility in Hamburg in autumn 2013 as part of the EU’s “Blending Study” project. The test showed that blending can improve fuel emission characteristics. Farnesan was approved in June 2014 for blending with petroleum-based kerosene.
Lufthansa is project coordinator in the “Blending Study” project financed by the European Commission. This project analyses the blending behavior of various combinations of conventional kerosene and different types of biokerosene.
Strict criteria for alternative fuels
Gradually establishing an alternative fuel supply system is a step towards realizing the aviation industry’s climate protection goals. The Lufthansa Group sets the highest standards for the use of alternative fuels, however. Before we use plantderived fuel, for example, we must make sure that cultivation of the energy plants in question never ends up in competition with food production. An indispensable criterion for selecting suppliers is that their fuel must be produced in sustainable ways and certified accordingly. We accept certifications based on the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) or Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) standards. ISCC is the first government-recognized global certification system for sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions. The RSB standard places nearly the same requirements on biokerosene production, while its criteria are in part even stricter. Other conditions include a proven environmental benefit and adequate availability at an acceptable price.
System partners for fuel from alternative sources
The Lufthansa Group is a member of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG) and the Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany (aireg e.V.). With Group company Swiss as intermediary, the Lufthansa Group also participates in the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB, Lausanne). Moreover, Lufthansa is active in the Flight Path 2020 initiative, whose goal is to produce 2 million tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel in Europe by 2020.