Gallon of Gas

ANA helped us make history by becoming the first airline to fly the 787 Dreamliner. On Monday, we teamed up with ANA to make some more history with the first ever 787 biofuel flight.


Fueling up at Paine Field. The first 787 biofuel flight gets ready to leave.

ANA’s newest Dreamliner took off from Paine Field on a delivery flight to Tokyo. The fuel blend was 15 percent biofuel made up primarily of cooking oil, and 85 percent Jet-A. The flight wasn’t just a chance to make history. It also helped showcase the 787’s environmental performance.


At the end of the day, we estimate this flight put out 30 percent less CO2 emissions compared to other airplanes of the same size (biofuel can take about 10 percent of the credit—with the Dreamliner’s technology and efficiency taking the other 20 percent). It brings a whole new meaning to a gallon of gas.


The historic flight lands in Tokyo.


This 787 flight is just one of the many ways we’re generating awareness of sustainable biofuels and the potential they hold for our industry. As part of our new Innovations series, we’ve just released a new video showing how Boeing chemists are leading the way in this research and putting their findings to work. Just click on the video below.

Comments (9)

Mitch Spiegel (Victoria, BC Canada):

I have read about all of the flights being flown on Bio fuels and I wonder why all of them use a blend of Bio fuel and jet fuel. Why have I not seen any 100% bio fuel tests?

Randy Tinseth:

Good question Mitch. It is based solely on availability of the fuel at the time.

Freddy Hagens (Kirkland, WA):

I have followed all the sustainable biofuel development that Boeing is involved with, teaming up with Embraer and Brazil.
It is not only great for technological advancements but the right thing to do for our precious planet.

Marco (Melbourne, Australia):

Perhaps bio fuel has less energy content compared to conventional jet fuel?

Perhaps using too much bio fuels will anger the petrochemical companies since people will buy less of their products?

Trudy (London):

Bravo to all involved for taking the initiative to find ways that help the environment. This is another proud moment for the 787.

Michael (Renton, WA):

Maybe they should add some sake to the fuel :-)

Sonny (Seattle):

The energy content is actually as good or better than conventional jet fuel. No sake required!

Andrew Boydston (Boise, ID USA):

Bio-fuels have a BTU content of 130,000 BTU's per gallon. Where Jet fuels similar to Kerosene, have BTU's in the 130K to 140K range depending on the fuel requirements for particular specification. Cetane rating for vegetable oil is a 35-40 Cetane number. Vegetable oil weighs 7.1 lbs. Where Kerosene or Jet A runs 135K BTU 6.76 pounds per gallon. What I can surmise,is a blend optimizes affects on performance through BTU available, weight under a full fuel load and reductions for Jet engine pollution.

The Cetane number affects flash point and can be formulated using Cetane boosters to meet exact requirement for Jet engine optimization. BTU's are the core energy values per gallon that gives the engine a performance advantage. Fuel weight per gallon is the penalty. Blending Jet Fuel with Bio is the optimization. All factors considered Boeing was probably spot on with its blend.

Norman (Long Beach, CA):

Sustainability and environmental preservation are marks of good stewardship. The challenges are great in the production of biofuel such as energy per square unit, cold temperature control and growing the fuel in the volumes needed. I like that airlines and aviation manufactures are taking the challenge that will be ever pressing as the years and decades go by.

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