High-quality advanced biofuels provide significant performance benefits over other biofuels and enable engine manufacturers to produce engines that are more fuel-efficient. Advanced biofuels are compatible with all diesel engines without modification and they can use existing infrastructure in logistics. Their quality is characterized by high engine performance, cleaner and longer-lasting fuel burning, as well as noise reduction.
For example, Neste Oil's NExBTL has excellent cold properties, providing reliability during the winter. High-quality and outstanding cold properties of NExBTL are vital especially in aviation use, where the flights are operated in extremely cold temperatures.
NExBTL renewable aviation fuel was tested on a total of 1,187 scheduled Lufthansa flights between Frankfurt and Hamburg in 2011 and one intercontinental flight between Frankfurt and Washington D.C. at the beginning of 2012. Factors such as fuel quality, aircraft performance, engine status, and fuel storability were systematically studied during the flights by the aircrafts' pilots, cabin staff, and ground-based maintenance personnel.
The results of the trial showed that using NExBTL renewable aviation fuel reduced CO2 emissions by a total of some 1,500 tons for the flights concerned, and that fuel consumption was 1% lower overall compared to regular fossil jet fuel. No quality or other issues related to NExBTL renewable aviation fuel emerged during the extensive analysis work carried out as part of the trial.
Superior-quality advanced biofuels easily outperform both conventional biodiesel and fossil diesel
The data from the trial confirmed that the aircraft and their engines performed in an excellent manner. The condition of the combustion chambers, turbines, and fuel systems of the engines was exemplary both during and at the conclusion of the trial. No signs of damage or corrosion were detected in the aircrafts' fuel tanks, and longer-term storage was not shown to have any negative impact on fuel quality.
Promoting advanced biofuels also means increasing competitiveness for engine manufacturers. Neste calls for a fuel legislation which is developed together with emission reduction legislation for vehicles and would unleash the quality effects of advanced biofuels.
The focus on quality of fuels needs to be brought back into European legislation to ensure that fuels are fit-for-purpose in all climatic conditions, do not deteriorate engines, and allow the automotive industry to significantly reduce transport emissions.