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Successful test flight with bio fuel mix

Beijing: Air China today successfully conducted its trial flight of a passenger plane powered by a mix of biofuel and traditional aviation fuel, which in the near future could help the country to overcome crude oil shortages. The Boeing 747 landed safely at Beijing Capital International Airport at 9:30 am, local time, after using up more than 10 tonnes of biofuel.

Analysts believe the successful trial indicates that biofuel will become an alternative energy option for commercial passenger flights in the near future, state-run news agency Xinhua reported. After the test, Zhang Hongying, an official with the Civil Aviation Administration of China, proclaimed that biofuel was now ready to be used for commercial flights.

Sun Li, General Manager of the China National Aviation Fuel Group Corporation, a large state-owned supplier of aviation fuel, said the fuel used was a 50-50 mix. Air China, Vice President, He Li said the composition and the burning efficiency of the fuel had been tested as well as its impact on the engines. The biofuel used in the trial flight was produced from the seeds of tung trees.

Shen Diancheng, a Vice President of PetroChina Company Ltd, said it had taken PetroChina 10 years to overcome the technical barriers of converting the oil extracted from the seeds to fuel that could power airplanes.

He said that the trees from whom the seeds were harvested were not planted on arable land, rather they were grown on mountain hills and wasteland.

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