Lufthansa uses sugar to fuel aircraft

by Alyssa Daniells

Talk about a sugar high.

While we’ve all “flown” on too much sugar, a recent Lufthansa actually did.

Lufthansa flight LH 190 flew from Frankfurt to Berlin on a blended biofuel that included farnesan , an alternative fuel based on sugar. Approved in June 2014, farnesan, blended with petroleum-based kerosene, powered last month’s one hour and fifteen minute flight.

The development of faresan was a joint effort by U.S.-based biotech company Amyris and multinational Total oil group.  The flight was the first European-scheduled flight to run on this fuel mixture and, according to Lufthansa, the airline was the first to use the blend in daily operations during trial runs with an Airbus A321. These tests were aligned with the EU’s study of blended fuels to meet its sustainability initiatives.

Tests show that synthetic fuels such as farnesan effectively reduce emissions that could be beneficial to climate protection. According to the Lufthansa’s website, the airline’s “key priorities are to certify the cultivation and processing of raw materials and to respect food safety standards and biodiversity.

The future of the air industry’s commitment to the environment is looking sweet.