KLM flies world's first 'passenger flight on biofuel'

Nov 23, 2009
The KLM airplane which runs on biokerosene is seen at Schiphol airport, near Amsterdam. A Boeing 747, one of four engines powered by a 50-percent biokerosene mix, circled the Netherlands for an hour on Monday for what airline KLM called the world's first passenger flight using biofuel.

A Boeing 747, one of four engines powered by a 50-percent biokerosene mix, circled the Netherlands for an hour on Monday for what airline KLM called the world's first passenger flight using biofuel.

"This is technically feasible. We have demonstrated that it is possible," KLM chief executive officer Peter Hartman said after the , which took off and landed at Schiphol airport near Amsterdam.

"Government, industry and society at large must now join forces to ensure that we quickly gain access to a continuous supply of biofuel."

The flight had about 40 people on board, including Hartman, Economic Affairs Minister Maria van der Hoeven, the director of nature group WWF in the Netherlands, Johan van de Gronden, and a handful of journalists.

KLM spokeswoman Monique Matze told AFP that of the Boeing's four engines, one was powered by a mix of 50 percent sustainable kerosene and 50 percent normal fuel. The biofuel was manufactured from the camelina plant, sourced from a biotechnology company based in Seattle in the United States.

The was also the first of any kind in Europe powered partly by sustainable biofuel, according to KLM.

"Of course, we compensated the footprint of transporting the fuel from the United States to here," added Matze, citing ongoing projects to reduce .

KLM said its quest for biokerosene was conditional on forests, food and water sources not being jeopardised.

Matze said the company "dare not name any targets" for switching to for its commercial flights, saying "the difficulty now is the availability of biofuels."

Monday's flight, she said, was "the first step towards ensuring clean and sustainable air transport."

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: A platform to help consumers achieve sustainable energy consumption

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Biofuel for commercial flights by 2010: IATA

Oct 23, 2009

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Friday it would approve biofuels for commercial flights by 2010 in a bid to drastically reduce the industry's carbon footprint.

Algae-Based Biofuel From Fish

Sep 01, 2009

Right now, when biofuel is produced using algae, cultures are grown and then processed into fuel. But the process is expensive and difficult. Now a company in Texas, LiveFuels, Inc., hopes that it will be ...

Recommended for you

Image: Testing electric propulsion

Aug 20, 2014

On Aug. 19, National Aviation Day, a lot of people are reflecting on how far aviation has come in the last century. Could this be the future – a plane with many electric motors that can hover like a helicopter ...

Where's the real value in Tesla's patent pledge?

Aug 20, 2014

With the much-anticipated arrival next month of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla's Model S to Australian shores, it's a good time to revisit Tesla's pledge to freely share patents. ...

New type of solar concentrator doesn't block the view

Aug 19, 2014

(Phys.org) —A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy while allowing people to actually see through ...

User comments : 0