Pratt & Whitney Endorses Industry Research That Could Lead to Biojet Fuel Certification

Results indicate bio-derived oils can produce jet fuel.


LE BOURGET, FRANCE -- Pratt & Whitney signed the executive summary released today by Boeing highlighting the positive results of a pioneering industry flight test and research program that should lead to future certification of sustainable biojet fuels. Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. company.

The results indicate sustainable sources of bio-derived oils and processing methods can produce a Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (Bio-SPK) jet fuel. Bio-SPK fuel was tested in current commercial aircraft at a blend ratio of up to 50 percent with normal jet fuel (Jet A or Jet A-1).

The flight tests of Bio-SPK fuels were conducted by an industry team. In 2009, Pratt & Whitney, Japan Airlines and Boeing completed a successful flight test of a second-generation biojet fuel on a Pratt & Whitney-powered 747 aircraft. The flight test used a biofuel primarily refined from the sustainable crop, camelina.

"The flight test and research program generated valuable data to support certification of Bio-SPK at a 50 percent blend ratio," said Alan Epstein, Pratt & Whitney vice president, Technology & Environment. "These flight tests provide further evidence that biojet fuels are technically viable and represent a promising path to reducing aviation greenhouse gas emissions."

Pratt & Whitney has been working with industry groups, customers, and aircraft manufacturers to explore alternative fuel options that improve fuel supplies and reduce environmental emissions. Pratt & Whitney Canada is also working with industry experts to develop and test alternative fuels for general aviation, business jets, and the Virgin Galactic spaceship program.

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