Bombardier and Porter Airlines are working to complete the first biofuel trial on a large turboprop once a Q400 operated by the carrier completes the test in early 2012.
Porter and Bombardier are part of a consortium led by Targeted Growth Canada to demonstrate a camelina-based biofuel on the aircraft supplied by Sustainable Oils. Other partners include Q400 engine supplier Pratt & Whitney and Honeywell subsidiary UOP.
Sustainable Oils is pre-refining the camelina oil and UOP is responsible for producing the hydro-treated renewable jet biofuel from the oils supplied.
Bombardier says the camelina-based biofuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 80%, cuts sulphur dioxide and is not competitive with food production since it is grown in rotation with wheat and on marginal land.
Funding for the Q400 biofuel project is being provided by the consortium partners and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, an arms-length, non-profit corporation created by the Government of Canada and Green Aviation Research and Development network.