After ASTM International approved the commercial use of biofuels for aviation, several carriers reportedly began commercial trials, mixing the renewable jet fuels, made from natural plant oils and animal fat, with conventional kerosene. Additional information about ASTM International’s action appears in Issue 15 of this Bulletin.
Lufthansa and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines have apparently begun using the fuels, and other airlines expect to do so. Still, carrier officials indicate that the trials mark the beginning of alternative fuel use, with regular future use dependent on policy decisions about environmental and social issues. While alternative fuels reportedly reduce carbon dioxide emissions and their use has not led to delays or unexpected aircraft behavior, some have questioned biofuels’ impact on farm commodity prices and land use. See The New York Times, October 25, 2011.