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Published on March 25th, 2015 | by Smiti


Boeing, Hainan Airlines Operate China’s First Cooking Oil–Powered Flight

March 25th, 2015 by  

China’s Hainan Airlines has successfully conducted the first-ever flight in the country powered by recycled cooking oil.

Hainan Airlines operates China's first cooking oil-powered flightBoeing, Hainan Airlines, and Sinopec partnered for a landmark flight that involved a Boeing 737-800 being powered by cooking oil recovered from restaurants around China. The regularly scheduled flight, carrying over 100 passengers, was powered by a fuel blend of approximately 50 percent aviation biofuel mixed with conventional petroleum jet fuel.

The flight is the result of several years of research conducted by Boeing in collaboration with fuel suppliers and universities in China. Boeing-COMAC Aviation Energy Conservation Emissions Reductions Technology Center in Beijing has been developing technologies, such as sustainable aviation biofuels, to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.

In 2011, Air China and Boeing partnered to operate China’s first biofuel-powered flight. The one hour flight used biofuel supplied by PetroChina and derived from Jatropha plants.

Fuel suppliers like PetroChina and Sinopec are believed to have been investing significant amount of resources towards the development of cleaner fuels for the Chinese aviation industry. In 2012, Sinopec successfully approached the Civil Aviation Administration of China to produce and test aviation biofuels. The demand for such fuels is expected to rise significantly over the next few years.

China is expected to include airlines in its national emissions trading scheme to be launched next year. The move should be seen in the perspective of the EU-China tussle over the former’s plan to include international aviation emissions into its own carbon market. The Chinese government directed the country’s airlines not to cooperate with the EU officials with regards to providing emissions and fuel consumption data. China announced its own plan to reduce emissions from the aviation sector, requiring domestic airlines to reduce their carbon intensity by 22% by 2020 over 2005 levels.

Seven pilot emissions trading schemes are operational in China across as many jurisdictions. The carbon market in Shanghai also includes airlines and requires them to reduce their absolute emissions.

Image Credit: Mjordan 6 | CC-BY SA 3.0 
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About the Author

works as a senior solar engineer at a reputed engineering and management consultancy. She has conducted due diligence of several solar PV projects in India and Southeast Asia. She has keen interest in renewable energy, green buildings, environmental sustainability, and biofuels. She currently resides in New Delhi, India.

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