11 December 2014—Last week, Boeing launched the first test-flight of a commercial aircraft using a jet fuel blended with sustainable, renewable diesel made from vegetable oils, cooking oil and fat. This flight, part of Boeing’s broader ecoDemonstator program, illustrates the aviation enterprise’s continued progress toward making low-carbon, synthetic jet fuels available for widespread use in the near term. The renewable diesel, made by Neste Oils Inc., was used in one engine of a Boeing 787 aircraft as a 15 percent blend with conventional jet fuel. According to Boeing, the flight encountered no issues and the plane operated just as it would have under normal conditions using only conventional jet fuel. A renewable diesel concept must still be defined and then pass the ASTM-International qualification process before being used in-service. However, there is substantial interest in using renewable diesel as a jet fuel blending component because it is already being produced commercially on a large-scale around the world and is expected to be cost competitive with conventional jet fuel. The renewable diesel blending concept joins the approximately half dozen potential alternative jet fuel candidates currently under consideration for ASTM approval in the next few years.
Read more about Boeing’ flight here.