Singapore Airlines (SIA) has initiated a program in cooperation with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) to use biofuels in its planes, the firm said in a press release this month. For the next three months 12 “green package” flights will fly between San Francisco and Singapore. The flights will be powered by conventional jet fuel and HEFA (hydro-processed esters and fatty acids), a sustainable biofuel produced from used cooking oil.
“The HEFA biofuel that we use is certified by the American Society for Testing and Material (ASTM) to be fully compatible, mixable and interchangeable with conventional jet fuel. This blended fuel meets the exact specifications as conventional jet fuel (ASTM D1655). The only difference is that it is produced from sustainable feedstock, and is the only sustainable biofuel that is produced on a continuous basis, which makes it economically attractive,” a spokesperson from the airline told PRIMA last week.
The HEFA will be produced by AltAir Fuels, a California based biodiesel producer who use environmentally sustainable feedstocks to produce bio-jet fuel and biodiesel. The company already has an agreement with United Airlines to regularly deliver sustainable bio jet fuels for its Los Angeles operations, with an estimated 15mn gal expected to be sent to the company over the next three years. AltAir’s bio-based jet fuels are said to hold GHG savings of 70%, while also meeting the same industry certification as similar petroleum-based produced.
While SIA were unable to comment on the exact price of the HEFA being purchased, they confirmed that the HEFA is more expensive than conventional jet fuels, but that the firm expect the price to decrease in the future. The biofuel is partly funded under the Sistainable Singapore Blueprint 2015, which aims to develop Singapore as a leading green economy.
Cathay Pacific will also begin using a combination of jet fuel and biofuels for flights between Hong Kong and the US in 2019, with landfill waste being the feedstock of choice.