Biofuel is a liquid fuel produced from organic material called biomass;therefore biofuel is a renewable energy.
Nevertheless, some biofuels have been criticised in recent years. Air France-KLM is very aware of this debate and is committed to following the developments in this field carefully through various platforms in order to promote sustainable biofuel production and avoid negative environmental or social impacts.
► A strategic priority for Air France-KLM
Sustainable biofuels are the most promising route to achieving significant reductions in aviation’s CO2 emissions whilst at the same time providing security of supply. They will be essential in achieving Air France and KLM’s ambitions as well as for the aviation industry as a whole, which has no alternative to liquid fuels.
For many years, Air France and KLM have played an active role within the air transport industry to promote the development of sustainable aviation fuels.
Since the amount of sustainably grown biomass for liquid biofuels is limited, Air France-KLM is calling for comprehensive legislation and policies that focus on using these scarce resources in those sectors which do not currently have an alternative to liquid fuels. This vision is shared by WWF in their recently issued Energy Report5.
► The keys to more sustainable biofuels
Air France-KLM recognizes that biomass from waste, crops and forest resources has the potential to provide a renewable source of energy, but careful land-use planning, better international cooperation and governance are essential.
How do biofuels reduce our carbon footprint ?
Burning biofuels generates the same amount of CO2 as burning traditional kerosene, i.e., 3.15 metric tons of CO2 per ton of kerosene burned. But it only discharging back into the atmosphere the carbon removed by the biomass while it is growing. Analysis of the life cycle (growing, harvesting, processing, and end-use) of a biofuel carried out by Michigan Technological University demonstrated that this represented a reduction of up to 80% in CO2 emissions relative to fossil kerosene.
► Taking action through practical initiatives
Air France and KLM are committed to using sustainable biofuels as soon as these receive certification and become available with the Lab'line for the future program.
Since 17 September 2014, Air France has been operating a weekly flight powered by fiofuel between Toulouse and Paris-Orly. These flights are operated by an Airbus A321 equipped with CFM56, fuelled with a blend of 10% biofuel (Farnesane). This biofuel is made from sugarcane byt Total-Amyris and its production process has been certified by the RSB. Thanks to the support of 14 partners involved in this project, these flights will be operated for more than a year.
FOR MORE DETAILS, please click on the following picture:
► Expanding our knowledge on aviation emissions
Aviation not only generates CO2, but also water vapour and soot particles given off by engines which affect the formation of contrails, the impact of which on the climate we know little about.
Since 2013, Air France has participated in the Europan project IAGOS (In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System) by carrying atmospheric measuring equipment on board an Airbus A340. The information collected is of great interest to researchers as destinations including the Caribbean and West Africa are served, which are not widely served by other airlines supporting this project. The data collected is made available to international meteorological centers and scientists worldwide, which is particularly useful for studying the carbon cycle and verifying CO2 emissions.
In 2014, Air France joined, the SESAR Deployment Alliance, an organization in charge of planning and coordinating the comprehensive modernization of European airspace. The organization is appointed by the European Commission and comprises 4 airlines, 25 airports, and 11 air traffic control services. It is in charge of supervising implementation of almost 3 billion euros worth of aire traffic control infrastructure improvements in Europe to enhance efficiency, reduce delays and increase environmental performance.
► The next generation of aircraft
Air France contributes to CORAC (Civil Aviation Research Body) along with Airbus, EADS, Thalès, Safran etc. in order to draw up a road map for French aeronautical research between now and 2050, including research on electric and composite planes. As part of its commitment to working together within the industry from aircraft manufacturers to airlines, the Group supports the work of
the ICAO Council’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection, which is seeking to set CO2 standards for new aircraft.