Joachim Buse, Lufthansa airline’s head of aviation biofuel, last week said at an industry event in Washington, D.C. that biofuels could be the industry’s standard fuel in five to seven years.
According to Air Transport World, the airline executive said his company’s burnFAIR project has shown that biofuels are a feasible proposition for commercial flights from a technological point of view. What needs to be done now is to make sure there is enough production and from sustainable feedstocks. He told ATW that “from now on, it’s purely a commercial issue.”
One day before Joachim’s talk, a flight between Frankfurt and Washington using a Boeing 747 400 carried 40 tons of a biosynthetic fuel mix. Between mid-July and late December, Lufthansa had four daily roundtrip flights between Hamburg and Frankfurt as part of burnFAIR.
Joachim said that in order for biofuels to become a routine within the aviation industry, government assistance and commercial practices will be necessary. burnFAIR cost Lufthansa €6.6 million ($8.4 million). Out of the total, €2.5 million were covered with subsidies from the German government.
The use of biofuels by airlines is likely to revive the ‘food versus fuel’ debate. What do you think? Are biofuels a green solution for airlines, who account for an estimated two percent of the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions?
Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.