AIN Blog: En Route to Paris on Honeywell’s Biofuel Proving Flight
Here we are, 41,000 feet in the air, sailing along at a little more than 476 knots and a little more than halfway from Morristown, N.J., to the Paris Air Show. We’ve got a biofuel blend of Honeywell’s finest and jet-A feeding engine one and straight jet-A in the other. The G450’s Rolls-Royce engines appear to be perfectly happy on a diet of either, and the flight is as smooth as a glass-top table. There have been previous biofuel flights, but this one is remarkable in a number of ways. First of all, it is the first transatlantic flight using a biofuel. Second, the biofuel is the product of a Honeywell UOP program that began more than two years ago with funding from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa). It is also evidence of business aviation’s participation in global efforts to protect the environment. On this flight, “The Honeywell Green Jet Fuel” is expected to produce the net equivalent savings of roughly 5.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The feedstock used to produce the biofuel is the camelina plant, a hardy, inedible species with high oil content. In addition to reducing the amount of CO2 emissions the resulting fuel also reduces particulate matter and cuts sulfur emissions to just one part per million. Despite the apparent success, Honeywell doesn’t plan to get into the biofuels business, other than to license the process to others to develop and distribute the end product.