JetBlue readies for alternative fuel trial

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JetBlue Airways will operate a second-generation biofuel test following demonstrations by Air New Zealand (ANZ), Continental Airlines and Japan Airlines (JAL).

The low-cost carrier is preparing for an Airbus A320-200 trial by spring 2010, a JetBlue spokesman tells ATI.

JetBlue teamed up with Airbus, International Aero Engines (IAE) and Honeywell fuel technology firm UOP in May 2008 to set about developing alternative fuels made from feedstocks that do not compete with the food supply.

Feedstocks being considered for the trial include jatropha, algae, waste forest residues, organic waste streams and the non-edible component of corn plants, corn stover, the spokesman says.

The biofuel should have the same properties as standard jet fuel and should not require engine or auxiliary power unit (APU) modifications, the spokesman adds.

JetBlue operates IAE-powered A320-200 aircraft and Honeywell produces APUs for such narrowbodies.

ANZ, Continental and JAL tested second-generation 50% biofuel mixes during separate demonstrations in December and January.