KLM Airlines to fuel over 200 flights with renewable jet fuel

By Luke Geiver | June 28, 2011

Starting in September, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will begin using biojet fuel sourced from fats, oils and greases on a series of over 200 flights. KLM will have Dynamic Fuels to thank for the fuel. A 50/50 joint venture between Syntroleum Corp. and Tyson Foods Inc., Dynamic Fuels officially opened a commercial-scale renewable diesel facility in Geismar, La. that uses feedstock sourced from a Tyson Foods manufacturing facility.

The KLM flights will be from Amsterdam to Paris, and according to Dynamic Fuels, the commercial renewable jet fuel underwent “rigorous renewable jet fuel testing and certification.” The certification work was performed by the Air Force Research Laboratory, Rolls-Royce Group and Cessna Aircraft Co. Bob Ames, vice president of renewable energy for Tyson Foods said on the flights that the use of the renewable fuel not only demonstrates the success the joint venture is having, but also the promise of advanced biofuels.

The fuel is made using Syntroleum’s Bio-Synfining Technology, a process that converts triglycerides or fatty acids using heat, hydrogen and proprietary catalysts. The entire process revolves around the Fischer-Tropsch process and Syntroleum focuses on three key areas. The first is the production and cleanup of synthesis gas made up of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The second area is a process that converts the synthesis gas to wax. The final process, or the Synfining process, is an upgrading step that transforms the FT wax into the diesel or jet fuel. 

“The production of ‘drop-in’ renewable fuels which are a direct replacement for petroleum based fuels is a major milestone in the commercial deployment of advanced technologies,” according to Jeff Bigger, senior vice president of business and development at Syntroleum.

The renewable jet fuel will be delivered to KLM by SkyNRG, a consortium made up of the North Sea Group and Spring Associates. Syntroleum has filed for the patent rights to the Bio-Synfining process, and, according to the company, hopes to build additional plants similar to the Geismar facility.



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