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Analysis of 100 percent biofuel tested in flight by NRC reveals reduction in emissions

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The T33 tailing the Falcon 20 to collect information on the emissions generated by the biofuel  Credti NRC The T33 tailing the Falcon 20 to collect information on the emissions generated by the biofuel Credti NRC

Results from the world’s first civil flight powered by 100 percent biofuel released by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) show that the biofuel used in the flight last October is cleaner than and as efficient as conventional aviation fuel.

Information collected in-flight and analyzed by a team of experts revealed an important reduction in aerosol emissions (50 percent) when using biofuel compared to conventional fuel. Furthermore, additional tests performed on a static engine show a significant reduction in particles (up to 25 percent) and in black carbon emissions (up to 49 percent) compared to conventional fuel. These tests also show a comparable engine performance, but an improvement of 1.5 percent in fuel consumption during the steady state operations. The jet’s engines required no modification as the biofuel tested in-flight meets the specifications of petroleum-based fuels.

“We are pleased with these positive results. The flight went smoothly and the data collected enables us to better understand the impact of biofuel on the environment,” said John R McDougall, President of the National Research Council of Canada. “We will continue to work with our partners Applied Research Associates, Chevron Lummus Global and Agrisoma Bioscience Inc. to bring this effective energy solution to market. The final product will be a sustainable option for reducing aviation emissions.”

NRC flew the first civil jet powered by 100 percent unblended biofuel on October 29, 2012, achieving a milestone for the aviation industry. The Falcon 20 flew on biofuel at 30 000 feet, similar to regular commercial aircraft altitude. A second aircraft, the T-33, tailed the Falcon in flight and measured engine emissions.

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