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Transport Overview n° 47

Transport Overview n° 47


Overview No. 47 by Christine Raynard, Department of Sustainable Development (DDD)

1) The German airline Lufthansa has launched the first scheduled flight with passengers on the Airbus A321 using biofuel.

This experience will last at least six months, with four return flights daily between Hamburg and Frankfurt. It will save the emission of 1,500 tonnes of CO2 over this period. Meanwhile, the long-term impact of biofuel on the performance of an aircraft is analyzed and studies on the viability of a long-term production were performed.

The jatropha-based biofuel, camelina and animal fat has been certified for commercial use on July 1, by European aviation authorities.

For a flight with passengers, the maximum rate can not exceed more than 50% of the total share of fuel.

Lufthansa has estimated that the biofuel cost twice the price of kerosene, but the airline believes that this effort (estimated at 6.6 million euros) is required on an environmental plan. In addition, Lufthansa placed on the fact that kerosene is a raw material which will be exhausted and the price eventually will be higher than that of biodiesel, which in turn will decrease.

2) Virgin Australia, the second Australian airline thinks replaced by 2014, by the kerosene-based biofuel eucalyptus tree widespread in Australia since it occupies 95% of forests with more than six hundred species.

A demonstration plant, based in Western Australia, is expected to open in 2012.

The company plans to capitalize on the ecology, but also on sustainable development. Indeed, Australian agriculture is facing two major challenges in recent years: sustainable management of water resources and the fight against soil salinization. However, eucalyptus has the property to reduce soil erosion and salinity.

Moreover, compared to using the plant jatropha by its competitors (Lufthansa, Air New Zealand, Japan Airlines and TAM Brazilian), Virgin Australia should avoid the reproaches and associations who denounce the intensive cultivation of jatropha in areas arid Latin America, Egypt, India or Madagascar, because they believe it could cause havoc identical to those caused by the large scale production of palm oil.

3) Students at the Ecole des Mines d'Ales have developed a clean car that produces no emissions of CO2. This prototype runs on a biofuel from algae, whose property is to capture the carbon dioxide required their growth.

4) The urban community of Lille is now run its fleet of buses on biomethane.

Green waste, vegetable peelings, dead leaves and rest of food is composted on a large scale fermentation and gives off methane. It is recovered and sent to the filing of Transpole network operator transit.

In the future it is planned to make 4 million m3 of methane per year.

5) In Germany, RWE Energy Group and Deutsche Bahn (DB) rail company signed a contract worth 1.3 billion euros over 15 years, for the supply of hydropower.

RWE will supply 900 million kilowatt / hours per year between 2014 and 2028 to the DB. Thus, one third of long-distance trains will be powered by green electricity and the share of green energy used by the DB will increase from 19.8% to 28%.

Press Contact :

Jean-Michel Roullé,
Head of Communications
Tel. +33 (0) 1 42 75 61 37


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