Boeing’s Eco-Demonstrator 787 Completes First Flight
Boeing’s Eco-Demonstrator 787 has completed its first flight using a blend of 15% green diesel and 85% petroleum jet fuel in the left engine. This offers the potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in aviation.
According to Boeing, sustainable green diesel is made from vegetable oils, waste cooking oil and waste animal fats. Boeing previously found that this fuel is chemically similar to HEFA (hydro-processed esters and fatty acids) aviation bio-fuel approved in 2011. Green diesel is chemically distinct and a different fuel product than ‘biodiesel’, which also is used in ground transportation. Although both green diesel and biodiesel start with the same feedstocks, and both create a much lower amount of harmful emissions than regular petro-diesel, they’re not processed in the same manner and have different chemical ingredients. Biodiesel is simpler to produce, and requires less capital investment.
Green diesel offers a tremendous opportunity to make sustainable aviation biofuel more available and more affordable for our customers,” said Julie Felgar, a director of environmental strategy at Boeing’s commercial airplane unit. “We will provide data from several eco-Demonstrator flights to support efforts to approve this fuel for commercial aviation and help meet or industry’s environmental goals.”
Boeing said green diesel could soon supply as much as one percent of global jet fuel demand with production capacity of 800 million gallons in the US, Europe, and Asia. The green diesel was supplied by Finland’s Neste Oil, which claims that sustainably produced green diesel should produce 50 to 90 percent less carbon emissions than petro-diesel. “The airplane performed as designed with the green diesel blend, just as it does with conventional jet fuel,” said Capt. Mike Carriker, chief pilot, product development and 777X, Boeing test and evaluation. “This is exactly what we want to see in flight test with a new type of fuel.