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Not everyone cheering Lufthansa biofuel test

The Local · 15 Jul 2011, 15:27

Published: 15 Jul 2011 15:27 GMT+02:00

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The airline aims to reduce carbon dioxide (C02) emissions fleet-wide, although some environmentalists are sceptical. A few showed up at the Hamburg airport to protest.

“The use of biofuel in the aviation sector to reduce CO2 emissions is an ecological sham,” said Werner Reh, of Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND).

In a statement, Reh complained that plans such as Lufthansa’s will just result in the mass expansion of crop cultivation necessary to create the biofuel mixture, leading to “worldwide destruction of forests, loss of biodiversity and competition for food.”

Biofuels have come under major criticism because mass cultivation in the developing world takes up space other plants and animals could be using or where food could be grown. Also, shorter flights are worse for the environment than taking the train.

Lufthansa said the aircraft will fly the route four times per day over the next six months. Scientific data will be compiled and technicians will examine effects of the half-biofuel and half-normal jet fuel mixture on the plane’s engine.

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The airline estimates it will save 1,500 tons of C02 during its tests which will cost €6.5 million ($9.1 million), about a third of which is being funded by the German government.

DPA/The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:32 July 15, 2011 by Englishted
Don't fly them to Thailand they won't come back.
18:41 July 15, 2011 by rfwilson
How clever. Doesn't anyone learn from the E10 ethanol-in-gasoline disaster that has resulted in engine damage, and dramatic increases in cost of corn (Maize) for countries where corn is a dietary staple?
05:02 July 16, 2011 by MashPort
Food Crop based Biofuels have been shown to be energy inefficient as well as detrimental to global food supplies, removing valuable land and crops.

However, many are not aware of Biofuels based upon rapidly growing Algae strains. These are very energy efficient and strains can be found to grow on otherwise unusable land, even deserts, if water can be found.

The US has already begun such experiments for Algae biofuel based aircraft fuels:

Algae to solve the Pentagon's jet fuel problemUS scientists believe they will soon be able to use algae to produce biofuel for the same cost as fossil fuels:


Algae used in biofuel on U.S. jet test flight

Mixture exceeded specs for regular fuel; no changes were needed on 737

David J. Phillip / AP

This Continental Airlines 737 on Wednesday ran one engine on a mixture of half biofuel and half regular jet fuel.The Associated Press

updated 1/7/2009 6:31:32 PM ET 2009-01-07T23:31:32:


Historically Germany has led the world in Chemical Engineering and fuels, so solving fuel and associated environmental issues is only a matter of choice and will.
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