Era of 100% petroleum-free aviation debuts with first all-biofuels flight in Canada

October 30, 2012 |

In California, Aemetis announced at Advanced Biofuels Markets the world’s first flight segment on 100% renewable, drop-in biofuel, conducted by the National Research Council of Canada using its Falcon 20 jet.

The drop-in fuel was produced using AgrisomaResonance Energy Feedstock, a dedicated industrial oilseed that was launched at commercial scale in 2012 across a broad region of western Canada.  Resonance Energy Feedstock produces a unique industrial oil ideally suited for biofuel manufacturing.  Resonance is part of a new generation of sustainable and scalable biomass crops, specially developed to provide a non-food oil that represent a step change for the renewable fuels industry,breaking the reliance on food crops to supply feedstock for biofuel manufacturing.

To date, flights on biofuels have been restricted to a 50% blend with petroleum, imposing limitations on fuel use. Using Applied Research Associates’ proprietary catalytic hydrothermolysis process, oil from Resonance Energy Feedstock was converted into a fuel that represents a complete replacement for conventional jet fuel, enabling flight at 100% biofuel use, a breakthrough for the renewable fuels industry. This historic flight symbolizes a significant step not only for the aerospace industry, but also towards advancing sustainable sources of renewable energy.

“Today, I flew the world’s first 100 percent biofuel flight,’’ said Tim Leslie, NRC pilot. “We have been working hard with our partners for many months, and it is most rewarding to see it all come together. It is truly inspiring to take this step towards an eco-friendly future!’’

“This flight represents the culmination of a significant and strategic effort within Canada to demonstrate leadership ingreen aviation, from the commercialization of a sustainable and scalable feedstock crop to an “at altitude” flight demonstration with real-time emissions monitoring during the flight.  Agrisoma is proud to be a part of this landmark work,” said Steven Fabijanski, President and CEO of Agrisoma, who was present on the tarmac.  “To date, all powered flight has relied on fossil fuel. This flight changes everything: we have witnessed petroleum free aviation.”

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