Embraer, GE test biofuel

Sept. 6, 2011 at 12:21 PM
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SAO JOSE DOS CAMPOS, Brazil, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Embraer of Brazil and GE Aviation have tested the use of an alternative fuel on an Embraer 170 aircraft and its engines.

Embraer said the tests were to benchmark the operational characteristics of the airplane and its GE CF34-8E engines when powered by HEFA (Hydro-processed Esters and Fatty Acids) fuel under a broad range of unique flight conditions. The flights involved powering one of the two GE engines with the maximum ASTM permissible mix of 50 percent HEFA, which is derived from camelina, with Jet-A fuel.

Following the recent approval of biomass-based HEFA fuels by ASTM, Embraer and GE have stepped up their efforts with the objective of supporting the development of a broader range of sustainable bio-fuels for aviation. With these tests, both companies confirmed that technical plans and procedures for future fuels testing are robust, enabling value-added and timely testing of additional fuels.

ASTM International is a nonprofit organization that develops and publishes technical standards, covering the procedures for testing and classification of materials. ASTM standards are used worldwide.

"We have a strong and longstanding commitment to developing efficient and environmentally responsible products," Mauro Kern, Embraer executive vice president of engineering and technology said. "This series of tests, and their very positive results, gives us a lot of new information to continue our sustainability program as it relates to future products."

Embraer and GE plan to engage in future bio-fuel testing and ASTM substantiation activities.

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