In a first successful test, a blended version of aviation turbine fuel with 2.4 percent biofuel made from refined palm oil was used to power a flight of a military transport plane above West Java from an army airstrip earlier in September, according to several press statements.
The consortium also made a ground test to determine the response of several jet engines to the palm oil-blended fuel.
Indonesia’s state-owned oil and gas giant Pertamina produced the fuel using a catalyst developed by the Bandung Institute of Technology (PTDI), while state-owned aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia provided the aircraft and test site and the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry supervised the test, the reports said.
Vegetable oil makes planes fly cleaner
“This test is hoped to support the use of vegetable oil-based fuels in the aerospace industry and improve energy security, especially in combining aviation turbine fuel with palm oil,” said PTDI commerce, technology and development director Gita Amperiawan.
He said a test flight to Soekarno Hatta International Airport was planned for September 15, pending approval from the Indonesian Military Airworthiness Authority.
Indonesia originally planned to start using aviation turbine fuel containing two percent biofuel in 2016 and three percent last year under governmental regulations but failed to do so for technical and economic reasons. The regulation also mandates biofuel blending for diesel and gasoline, which was also delayed.
In addition, Pertamina’s aviation fuel refining capacity is still relatively small to meet the demand for what is called “sustainable aviation fuel.”
Key element in reducing airline industry emissions
Aviation fuel mixed with biofuel has been gaining popularity worldwide over the past decade with the International Air Transport Association defining it as a key instrument in reducing aviation industry emissions.
Norway and Finland have already introduced mandatory biofuel blending requirements for aviation fuel, while other European countries and the US are planning similar regulations to spur adoption.
According to Investvine