Lufthansa German Airlines Tests 100 Percent Drop-in Renewable Fuel

CFM56 engine ready for testing. Photo credit: Deutsche Lufthansa

Lufthansa German Airlines, one of the largest airlines in Europe, has successfully completed emissions testing on a fully synthetic renewable jet fuel. The fuel, trademarked as ReadiJet®, was produced by the Biofuels ISOCONVERSION process jointly developed by Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) and Chevron Lummus Global (CLG). The process converts any renewable fat, oil, or grease into high yields of 100 percent drop-in, pure hydrocarbon fuels.

“Lufthansa evaluated several different fuels for its ‘High Biofuel Blends in Aviation’ report and wanted to include ours because it’s unique – it’s unblended,” said ARA Principal Engineer Ed Coppola. “All of the other fuels had to be blended with petroleum. They wanted to determine the effects of a clean fuel that didn’t have a lot of impurities like Sulphur and look at the chemistry on the emissions.” “The HBBA report can be downloaded from www.HBBA.eu.

Emissions tests were performed in a CFM56-5C4 engine that is used to power the Airbus A340 aircraft. “This is the largest engine that our fuel has ever been tested on,” said Coppola. “You could stand inside the intake of the engine.” Tests were performed at multiple power settings including ground idle, flight idle, takeoff, and maximum continuous thrust. Even though ReadiJet® contained about five percent more aromatics than the petroleum baseline fuel that was tested for comparison, CO, NOx, and particulate emissions were essentially the same as produced by the petroleum fuel.

The results from Lufthansa’s test could be used as part of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) review process currently underway to certify ReadiJet® for commercial use. This will result in a new specification Annex to ASTM D7566, “Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons.”

MILITARY CERTIFICATION

The U.S. Navy is also performing certification testing on neat, unblended ReadiJet® and ReadiDiesel® which will result in new military specifications. When the MILSPEC certification is complete, ReadiJet® and ReadiDiesel® will be the ONLY 100 percent renewable fuels certified by the Department of Defense that meet petroleum fuel specifications without blending. ARA delivered more than 150,000 gallons of 100 percent drop-in jet and diesel fuel to the U.S. Navy in 2016 as part of a certification fuel contract.

TESTED AND PROVEN               

On October 29, 2012, the National Research Council Canada flight-tested ReadiJet® using their Falcon 20 aircraft in the world’s first ever 100 percent drop-in renewable jet fuel flight. The flight demonstrated more than 50 percent reduction in particle emissions while obtaining a 1.5 percent reduction in specific fuel consumption compared to petroleum-derived jet fuel. ReadiJet® gives more miles per gallon than petroleum based fuel and a lot more miles per gallon than other renewable fuels. This means longer range for aircraft flying with ReadiJet®.

In addition to being compatible with current turbine and diesel engines, ReadiJet® and ReadiDiesel® do not have to be segregated from their petroleum counterparts. These fuels can utilize existing petroleum infrastructure without the need to build additional, costly infrastructure for blending, transportation, and storage.

About Chevron Lummus Global (CLG)
Chevron Lummus Global (CLG), a 50/50 joint venture between CB&I and Chevron, licenses refining and hydroprocessing technologies and catalyst systems worldwide for production of clean fuels and high-quality lubricant base oilsCLG’s research and development staff is continuously seeking advancements in catalyst and technology that will improve operating economics. CLG is the leading Process Technology Licensor for Alternate Sources of Fuels including: Oil Sands Bitumen, Shale Oil, Biofuels, and Extra Heavy Oils. For more information please visit: www.chevron.com.

Media Contact:
Lisa Schofield
Applied Research Associates, Inc.
850-818-0399
lschofield@ara.com

About ARA

Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) was founded in 1979, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to offer science and engineering research to solve problems of national importance. ARA delivers leading-edge products and solutions for national defense, energy, homeland security, aerospace, healthcare, transportation, and manufacturing. With over 1,500 employee-owners at locations in the U.S. and Canada, ARA offers a broad range of technical expertise in defense technologies, civil engineering, computer software and simulation, systems analysis, biomedical engineering, environmental technologies, and blast testing and measurement.

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