China Conducts Its First Successful Bio-fueled Airline Flight

SHANGHAI, April 24 (UPI) — China says is has successfully conducted its first airline flight powered by self-developed biofuel made mainly from palm oil and recycled cooking oil.

An Airbus A320 operated by China Eastern Airlines landed at Shanghai Wednesday after an 85-minute journey using aviation biofuel produced by Sinopec, the country’s top oil refiner, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported.

China is the fourth country, after the United States, France and Finland, to produce bio-jet-fuel.

The biofuel produced sufficient power during the test flight and “was no different from traditional fuels,” Capt. Liu Zhimin and co-pilot Zhou Xiaoqing said.

If it passes reviews by the Flight Criteria Department of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, Sinopec will be granted the country’s first permit of its kind for commercial use of biofuel, officials said.

Company spokesman Lyu Dapeng acknowledged the cost of refining aviation biofuel is currently higher than that for conventional fuels, but said alternative fuel will become mainstream.

The International Air Transport Association has forecast 30 percent of aviation fuel will be biofuel by 2020, Xinhua reported.

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