A Qatar Airways flight from London to Qatar has become the first passenger plane to be powered by cleaner-burning natural gas that was converted to kerosene.
“Today’s flight opens the door to an alternative to oil-based aviation fuel,” said Malcom Brinded, international executive director of Royal Dutch Shell, which is partnering with Qatar Petroleum to produce so-called gas-to-liquid (GTL) kerosene from Qatar’s abundant natural gas reserves.During the five-hour flight, the Qatar Airways Airbus A340-800 jet was powered by a 50-50 blend of GTL kerosene and conventional oil-based kerosene jet fuel. An Airbus spokesman called the flight “a major breakthrough which brings us closer to a world where fuels made from feedstocks such as wood-chip waste and other biomass is available for commercial aviation.”
The spokesman predicted that by 2030, 30 percent of jet fuel would be derived from GTL or biofuels. Shell and Qatar Petroleum are building a plant in Qatar capable of producing one million tons of GTL kerosene annually.
Article appearing courtesy of Yale Environment 360.
[photo credit: Flickr]