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Canada to test new biofeedstock in aviation fuel

Canadian researchers are set to test fly aircraft using biofuel made with a new industrialised oil-seed feedstock engineered especially for biofuel production.

Expected to take place this month, the series of flights are to be done in Canada using combinations of petroleum fuel and biofuel from US biofuel manufacturer Honeywell UOP, the Honeywell Green Jet Fuel.

The programme will be carried out by National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and will test blends of the fuel at higher ratios than previous demonstration flights, which have been conducted using a 50/50 ratio of biofuel and jet fuel produced from petroleum.

The flights will also feature in-flight collection of emissions by a trailing aircraft, allowing for later evaluation of the Green Jet Fuel’s emissions performance.

Jim Rekoske, vice president Honeywell UOP’s Renewable Energy and Chemicals business unit, said: “This is a unique program of test flights, given that we are using a new feedstock to produce the Honeywell Green Jet Fuel, and it will be used in higher ratio than before.”

The biofuel has been produced from Resonance Energy Feedstock, a new non-food, industrial oilseed crop produced by Ottawa-based Agrisoma. The Resonance feedstock is derived from brassica carinata and is optimised for use as a biofuel feedstock, Honeywell said. The crop is also suited for production in semi-arid areas that are unsuitable for food oilseed production, meaning it will not compete with food crops for land resources.

The Resonance crop used to produce the Honeywell biofuel for the flights was grown in Kincaid, Saskatchewan, in the summer of 2011.

The flights will be conducted on a modified Falcon 20 twin-engine jet, using blends of Honeywell’s Green Jet Fuel and petroleum over the 50% limit approved by ASTM, the worldwide standards body that signed off commercial use of Honeywell Green Jet Fuel last year.

Previous evaluations of Honeywell Green Jet have found a 60-85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions relative to petroleum-based fuels.

Honeywell UOP’s Renewable Jet Fuel Process technology was originally developed in 2007 under a contract from the US government to produce renewable military jet fuel.

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