CFM Engine Using BioFuel

BBJ is using CFM56-27 engine for it propulsion system, what i want to highlight here is in June 2007, the engine manufacturer CFM International has successfully carried out an initial test of a CFM56-7B engine using an ester-type biofuel at Snecma’s Villaroche facility near Paris.

CFM56 engines are produced by CFM International (CFM), a 50/50 joint company of Snecma (SAFRAN Group) and General Electric Company.

The biofuel used for this test is 30 % vegetable oil methyl ester blended with 70 % conventional Jet-A1 fuel. This test was designed to check the operation of a jet engine using a fuel made from biomass, without making any technical changes to the engine. With this type of biofuel, the target is a net reduction of 20 percent in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions compared with current fuels.

CFM is running engine tests to develop solutions based on mixtures of jet fuel and second-generation biofuels. For instance, it is currently focusing on the evaluation of alternative fuels made using biomass (offering properties closer to those of jet fuel), which also offer better environmental performance.

For alternative fuels to be used in the aviation industry, there are a number of major technology challenges that must be met, including energy density, thermal stability (avoiding coking at high temperature), use at very low temperatures (freezing) or high temperatures, lubricating effect with materials used, and the availability of mass production facilities worldwide.

Even though it is only 30% "vegetable oil" as a start, it is a major step toward greener emission from aviation industry.