December 3, 2014
Boeing conducts first flight with ‘green diesel’ as aviation biofuel
Boeing has completed the world’s first flight using “green diesel,” a sustainable biofuel that is widely available and used in ground transportation. The company powered its ecoDemonstrator 787 flight test airplane with a blend of 15% green diesel and 85% petroleum jet fuel in the left engine. Sustainable green diesel is made from vegetable oils, waste cooking oil and waste animal fats. Boeing previously found that this fuel is chemically similar to HEFA (hydro-processed esters and fatty acids) aviation biofuel approved in 2011. Green diesel is chemically distinct and a different fuel product than “biodiesel,” which also is used in ground transportation. With production capacity of 800 million gallons (3 billion liters) in the U.S., Europe and Asia, green diesel could rapidly supply as much as 1% of global jet fuel demand. With a wholesale cost of about $3 per gallon, inclusive of U.S. government incentives, green diesel approaches price parity with petroleum jet fuel.