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Emirates Airlines operates first test flight on sustainable fuel

Emirates Airlines has announced a test flight of one of its Boeing 777-300ERs powered by twin GE90 engines using 100% SAF sustainable aviation fuel in one of the two engines.

The plane took off from Dubai International Airport on Monday and flew more than an hour along the coast of Dubai.

And Emirates Airlines said in a statement that the 100% sustainable aviation fuel test flight is of particular significance with the declaration of 2023 as the ‘Year of Sustainability’, as during the year the UAE’s efforts to find innovative solutions to various challenges such as energy, climate change and other sustainability issues will be highlighted.

The Emirates test flight is the first of its kind in Middle East and North Africa to operate on 100% sustainable fuel.

The flight supports efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, as the industry looks to expand its use of the fuel. It also helps improve the operating platform for the future sustainable fuel offers and also supports the future certifications, to agree to use 100% sustainable fuel to operate aircraft. There is currently approval for the use of sustainable fuels in all aircraft, but only with up to a 50% blend of conventional jet fuel.

Emirates has worked with its partners GE Aerospace, Boeing, Honeywell, ENOC Group, Nest and Varinet to develop a sustainable fuel blend that has the same properties as conventional jet fuel. A series of measurements of the chemical and physical properties of the fuel were also carried out in each proportion of the mixture. After numerous rigorous test And test laboratory, the partners developed a blend with a ratio that mirrors the properties of jet fuel.

Emirates revealed that four tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel were blended, consisting of 75% ‘HEFA-SPK’ (Hydrolysed Esters, Fatty Acids and Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene) supplied by ‘Nest’ and 25% ‘HDO -SAK” from “Virent” (Synthetic Aromatic Kerosene) from “Virnet”. One of the GE90’s two engines ran on 100% sustainable fuel, while the other ran on conventional aviation fuel.

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