Biofuel: This Cooking Oil Used in Aircraft Engines

Air France and TotalEnergies have just flown an Airbus A320 between Nice and Paris-Orly, carrying 30% biofuel.

Aviation is continuing its decarbonisation experiments. And for that, she does not hesitate to put used cooking oil in the engines. On Friday October 1, an Air France Airbus A320 thus took off from Nice for Paris-Orly with 30% of biofuel in its tanks, thus avoiding “the emission of 3 tons of CO2” on the journey, according to Air France.

This fuel comes from the recycling of waste and residues treated by TotalEnergies at the La Mede biorefinery (Bouches-du-Rhone) and at the Oudalle plant (Seine-Maritime). After a first long-haul flight last May powered by 16% of “SAF” (sustainable aviation fuel) produced in France, this is therefore the second full-scale experiment for the national company and the energy company working on the subject.

Biofuels dedicated to aviation still encounter problems of scale of production and therefore of costs. A liter of SAF costs four times more than a liter of traditional kerosene. We must therefore speed up research. This is why the government is trying to stimulate the sector through a call for projects to build a real sector with 200 million euros.

It must be said that aviation should not drag on. In the Climate plan published in July by Brussels, the regulators plan to make compulsory the gradual incorporation of biofuels, 2% in 2025 and at least 5% in 2030. For Air France, engaged in a vast program to renew its fleet ( by the A220 in particular), “sustainable aviation fuels are the first lever for the decarbonisation of the aviation sector”, insisted Anne Rigail, general manager of the French company.