Boeing Completes Green Diesel Aircraft Testflight
787 ecoDemonstrator Uses Green Diesel Blend
Last week, Boeing completed the world’s first aircraft flight using green diesel. Its 787 ecoDemonstrator ran a blend of 15 percent green diesel and 85 percent petroleum jet fuel in the left engine, and the flight’s success might make the renewable fuel a legitimate option in the future.
Green diesel can be made from waste vegetable and other cooking oils, as well as waste animal fat. However, despite its similar origins, green diesel is chemically distinct from biodiesel. Green diesel is closer in its physical properties to conventional petrodiesel than it is to biodiesel, and it’s similar to HEFA biofuel already approved for use in aircraft.
"Green diesel offers a tremendous opportunity to make sustainable aviation biofuel more available and more affordable for our customers," said Julie Felgar, managing director of Environmental Strategy and Integration, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The company says that green diesel’s cost is close to that of conventional jet fuel, making green energy more affordable for airlines and consumers.
Neste Oil, the Finnish company that provided Boeing with the green diesel, says that when sustainably produced, the fuel reduces carbon emissions between 50 to 90 percent compared to fossil fuel. Boeing says in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, green diesel has a production capacity of about 800 million gallons, which is about 1 percent of global jet fuel demand.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner-based ecoDemonstrator is being used as a testbed for dozens of environmentally friendly technologies, including green diesel. The test flight was coordinated by Boeing, the Federal Aviation Administration, Rolls-Royce, and Pratt & Whitney. EPIC Aviation blended the jet fuel and green diesel.