Certifying body ASTM International looks to be just days away from officially approving HRJ (a hydrogenated biofuel that consists of a 50/50 blend of vegetable oil and kerosene) for use in commercial aviation. On June 8th, a deciding ballot passed through the ASTM's technical committees. Though approval is not yet official, Richard Altman, executive director of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative, told Flightglobal that "from a practical point of view, we are done."

Once approval is official, airlines such as Lufthansa will begin scheduled passenger flights powered by the renewable biofuel blend. Lufthansa, one of Europe's largest airlines, was forced to delay its scheduled commercial biofuel flights due to fuel certification issues. The Germany-based carrier had originally planned to kick off a six-month long biofuel trial beginning in April.

If the renewable fuel gets the nod of approval, look for airlines to showcase the biofuel by conducting HRJ-powered flights during the 2011 Paris Air Show in late June.

[Source: Flight Global | Image: Andres Rueda – C.C. License 2.0]

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