KLM plans test of camelina-based biofuel

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KLM Royal Dutch Airlines intends to conduct a demonstration flight of a Boeing 747 partly powered by a camelina-based biofuel.

One of the aircraft's four engines will run on a 50:50 mix of the biofuel and traditional kerosene. The flight is scheduled for 23 November.

"KLM has joined forces with its partners to vigorously stimulate the further development of alternative fuels," says KLM president and chief executive Peter Hartman. "In so doing, we need to rely on the input and support of all the relevant parties: the business community, government and society at large."

Camelina, a flowering plant, was the main feedstock used to produce the biofuel that was tested by Japan Airlines (JAL) in January. Jatropha and algae together made up 16% of that biofuel, with camelina accounting for 84%. JAL used a 747-300 to conduct the test flight, with a 50:50 bio-kerosene mix powering one of the four engines.