South African energy company Sasol has for the first time operated a commercial passenger jet powered solely by its synthetic jet fuel, which is derived from coal.
A Boeing 737 chartered from South Africa's National Airways Corporation (NAC) took off today from Johannesburg's Lanseria Airport for a two-hour flight to Cape Town powered entirely by Sasol's synthetic fuel.
In 2008, the fuel - which is produced through Sasol's coal-to-liquids process - became the first 100% synthetic fuel to be approved for use on commercial aircraft.
In addition to the 737 flight, Sasol's fuel was used to power a two-hour Hawker 4000 flight.
While the synthetic fuel does not reduce carbon dioxide emissions relative to kerosene, it does produce lower sulphur and nitrogen emissions.
"Sasol's advances in synthetic fuel technology have brought us even closer to integrating viable alternate transportation fuel into the energy mix," says Sasol CEO Pat Davies.