12 Nov 2008

Air New Zealand to test biofuel on flight

2:44 pm on 12 November 2008

Air New Zealand will test what it says is the world's first second generation biofuel-powered commercial flight on 3 December.

The jatropha-based fuel for the Boeing 747-400 flight out of Auckland has been cleared for use by engine maker Rolls Royce.

The airline says the oil for the fuel was sourced from jatropha seeds grown in South Eastern Africa and India.

A spokesperson for Rolls Royce, Chris Lewis, says the fuel is a 50-50 blend of standard Jet A1 fuel and synthetic paraffinic kerosene derived from jatropha oil.

The jatropha plant produces seeds that contain inedible lipid oil that is used to produce fuel.

Procedures will be carried out during the two-hour flight to measure the performance of the engine being operated with the fuel.