C919 airliner with SAF

COMAC carries out C919 and ARJ21 flights supplied with SAF

Commercial aircraft took off from airpots in Shanghai on 40% sustainable aviation fuel developed from waste cooking oil

China’s state-owned commercial aircraft manufacturer COMAC carried out flights of C919 and ARJ21 jets fueled for the first time with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) on June 5.

The aircraft took off from Shanghai Pudong (ARJ21) and Shandong Dongying (C919) airports with 40% of their tanks with SAF supplied by the company Sinopec.

The fuel was obtained from cooking oil, among other compounds. The demonstration flights lasted about an hour, according to COMAC.

ARJ21 with 40% SAF took off from Shangai Pudong (COMAC)

China behind in SAF

China later began applying SAF to its aircraft, a program that has been running since 2022.

Just in February this year, the CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China) approved the use of sustainable fuel on flights in the country.

Capable of reducing pollutant emissions by more than 80% compared to pure kerosene, SAF has been a medium-term alternative for decarbonization in aviation.

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The sustainable fuel was provided by Sinopec (COMAC)

Manufacturers such as Airbus, Boeing and Embraer have already flown aircraft fueled with 100% SAF and the British carrier Virgin Atlantic even completed a flight with a Boeing 787 using only sustainable fuel between London and New York.

Despite the good reception, the SAF is limited in production capacity, well below the demand necessary to considerably reduce the use of polluting fuels.

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