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Iberia stages spain´s first commercial flight using biofuel4. ockober 2011 11:55 | Technology
Iberia and Repsol today staged Spain’s first commercial flight powered by biofuel. An Iberia Airbus A320 flying from Madrid to Barcelona burned some 2,800 kg. of a mixture of 75% conventional A-1 jet fuel and 25% biofuel derived from the camelina sativa plant. The use of the mixture brought a reduction of nearly 1,500 kg. of C02 emissions.
The second-generation biofuels is a mixture made by ASA of synthesized paraffin bio-kerosene produced by Honeywell-UOP and evaluated and certified by Repsol at its Technological Center, which allows an almost 20% reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases.
Camelina sativa is an inedible oil plant that grows widely and can be cultivated in Spain. Unlike other plants used for biofuels, camelina enriches the soil in which its is grown.
Iberia provided the aircraft, crew, handling services, etc. for the test, and used the Peugeot electric ground vehicles it is now testing for airport use.
Iberia also supplied the technical and maintenance services at Madrid Barajas airport. Together with the Airbus company and the engine manufacturers it closely monitored the technical and operational certification of this new biofuel.
Repsol produced and delivered the fuel, which was evaluated under high-performance conditions and approved at its research facility. The company has long experience in the development of biofuels at its Technological Center, one of the most advanced of its kind in Europe.
The flight was a part of Spain’s pioneering “Green Flight” program to advance in the use of biofuels in aviation. The use of such fuel is called for in Iberia’s strategic plan, which contains a number of measures intended to combat climate change.
Iberia’s chairman Antonio Vázquez commented that “Iberia is proud to contribute our experience as an airline and an aircraft maintenance company to this initiative. The fight against climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face, and biofuels are essential for reducing our reliance on petroleum, increasing our competitiveness, and achieving the ambitious emissions-reduction targets set by the airline industry”. For three years Iberia has been listed by Dow-Jones as one of the world’s most environmentally sustainable airlines
Repsol’s downstream division chief Pedro Fernandez Frial said the -powered flight “is another step for Repsol in its commitment to sustainable mobility, driving the development of second-generation biofuels”. He added that Repsol’s New Energies unit “is contributing to the vision of a more diversified and sustainable energy future”. The Spanish oil company’s sustainability policies have earned it worldwide recognition, and this year Dow Jones has listed it the world’s most transparent and sustainable oil company thanks to its strategy to combat climate change through sustainable refining and the making of clean fuels, among many other measures.
Following the successful flight, the two companies will now consider new initiative allowing them to advance in the research, development and use of biofuels in commercial aviation.
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