Skip to comments.Commercial flight uses fuel produced from natural gas
Posted on 01/12/2013 6:26:30 PM PST by thackney
Qatar Airways completed the first commercial flight this week using fuel produced from natural gas, the company said.
The flight used fuel from the Pearl GTL plant in Qatar, through a partnership between the airline and the plant, jointly owned by Qatar Petroleum and Shell.
The fuel was made from a blend of gas-to-liquids kerosene and conventional oil-derived jet fuel. It powered an Airbus A340-600 on a flight from Doha to London, the companies said in a statement.
Shell says its gas-to-liquids products have fewer emissions than conventional jet fuel and are more environmentally friendly. The gas-to-liquids kerosene can comprise up to half of a fuel blend to power a commercial airliner, Shell said.
Qatar Airways CEO Akhbar Al Baker said in a statement that the airline is attempting to lead the industry into cleaner fuels.
As the world talks and preaches environmentally friendly skies, we at Qatar Airways are setting the bar high for others to follow, Al Baker said. We are shifting the goalposts. We are setting an example by doing our part, by committing ourselves to be at the forefront of innovative research.
The Pearl GTL complex in Qatar is the worlds largest plant capable of transforming natural gas into other fuels and is the largest single asset in Shells portfolio, involving more than $18 billion in investment, according to the statement. It made its first commercial shipment in 2011.
Because of the abundance of low-priced natural gas in the United States, Shell is exploring the possibility of building a GTL plant on the Gulf Coast.
Shell has invested more than $21 billion in Qatar over the last six years, making it the countrys largest foreign investor, according to the announcement.
But how efficient is it?
when will natural gas be reliable to use?
- saw a 350 P/U truck last week powered 100% by propane - in use with a small contractor, a country boy - $1.50 p/g versus 3.50 p/g - sounds like a no brainer.
Virtually every taxicab in Toronto runs on propane for the same reason. It’s so common that half the gas stations here sell propane.
It is a cost efficient method.
There are BTU’s used up in the conversion, but the result is a competitive price for jet fuel.
Natural Gas is way cheaper per BTU than Jet Fuel.
Natural Gas is completely reliable.
The problem is sufficient fueling stations.
They are being built, but it takes time.
I grew up in Chicago where they had CNG buses since 1950.
God blessed us with that atom.
Not sure what the difference is but United Airlines completed the first commercial flight in the US using natural gas synthetic jet fuel in 2010. I really hope this technology takes off for the environment as well as the fuel surcharge which can nearly double a ticket price for international travel.
I deeply regret not having NG service in my neighborhood. I wonder if it can be retrofitted (at a reasonable price per household). I’d by a NG car in a heartbeat. Even if we wind up paying a “road use tax” based on miles driven I think it always be less expensive.
Not quite that simple.
Propane = 90,000 btu/g, gasoline = 125,000 btu/g. Or thereabouts.
Whether that ratio holds for mpg, I have no idea.
thanks for the facts - you da man!!
Wow, that sounds really good. Maybe we should try ethanol, 100% ethanol or 100% propane .... I wonder why airplanes and large semis that have heavy loads or travel up mountainous roads don’t use 100% ethanol or propane, it’s so much cheaper.
20 plus years ago I worked for Waggoner and Brown and Jack Brown asked me to help on one of his pet projects. We built and installed several CNG fueling stations on the West coast, later the company became Pinnacle Gas. we made money but not at the level expected due to the infrastructure required. There was a product around a few years ago that was a small potable compressor that hooked up to your home service. Hook it up over night and refuel, I havent heard much more about it.
That was a blend using 40% natgas synfuel and 60% Jet A fuel.
when will natural gas be reliable to use?
When the infrastructure is as wide spread as servise stations, the fuel it’self is very reliable.
It may be that the difference is the Qatar flight was a commercial flight from city to city, while the Denver UA test flight just went up, ran some readings and came back to the same location without commercial passengers.
“- saw a 350 P/U truck last week powered 100% by propane - in use with a small contractor, a country boy - $1.50 p/g versus 3.50 p/g - sounds like a no brainer.”
Where do you get Propane for that price...not here in Texas. I do agree that natural gas costs something like $1.50 (equivalent) if not less...but Propane seems to be a rip-off (i.e., closer to $2.50), considering that the wholesale price is now under a dollar:
Why can't they just use existing gas stations that have NG service, and install compressors?