Lufthansa and Algae Tec to build biofuel production facility

Algae.Tec facility in Australia

German airline Lufthansa has signed an agreement with Australian biofuel developer Algae.Tec to build a large-scale algal jet fuel production facility in Europe.

Lufthansa will fund the project, while Algae.Tec will manage the facility, which will use its own technology, and receive licence fees and profits in return.

The agreement signals a long-term collaboration between the two that will see the airline commit to purchase at least 50% of the crude algal oil at an agreed price. The crude oil can be transformed into both aviation kerosene and conventional diesel fuels.

The partners have not disclosed the size or cost of the facility, nor its location other than specifying that it will be in Europe near an industrial source of CO2 to use as feedstock for the algae.

Algae.Tec, which opened its Shoalhaven algal biofuel production facility in New South Wales, Australia this summer, says the oil produced at the new European facility will meet the terms of the EU Renewable Energy Directive and the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification standard.

Lufthansa completed a successful trial of aviation biofuel earlier this year with Neste Oil, using biosynthetic kerosene to fuel flights between Hamburg and Frankfurt.

While the airline declared itself fully satisfied with the biofuel, which it claims emitted 50% less CO2 than conventional aviation fuel, it apparently ended the trial after failing to secure a reliable source.

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Related stories:
Boeing and ANA make first 787 biofuel-powered flight (18-Apr)
Neste Oil and Lufthansa hail successful renewable aviation fuel trial (27-Mar)
Boeing, Airbus and Embraer to work together on biofuels (23-Mar)

24 September 2012