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BurnFAIR project


The main goal of the BurnFAIR project was to gain experience and generate data on the regular use of alternative fuels over a long period of time.


In particular, the project aimed at evaluating the consequences on engines health and the potential operational issues that may not have been identified in previous lab-tests and singular flights.


Research & Development

Value-chain step

Type of pathway
Oleaginous / Hydroprocessing

Starting time and duration
July 2011 - December 2011

Airlines, Research, Manufacturers, Airports

Regional scope

Involved countries


As part of the project, a Lufthansa Airbus A321 operated four daily round flights between Hamburg and Frankfurt, for a period of 6 months, with one engine fuelled with a 50% blend of conventional jet fuel and HEFA synthetic fuel.

A batch of biofuel was produced for the project by Neste Oil in its refinery of Porvoo in Finland. The fuel was stored in Hamburg where aircraft fuelling was operated.

Regular analysis of the fuel was performed to detect eventual unmixing of the blend, due to difference in density between HEFA and kerosene, or microbiological contamination.
Regular evaluation of recorded engines’ parameter was performed. At the end of the testing period, a detailed technical analysis was achieved, including engine inspection with boroscoping and teardown analysis of key parts like fuels pumps.
Twelve universities and industry partners were associated to the project under Lufthansa leadership. The project was partly funded by the German Ministry of Economics and Technology. 

Lufthansa, DLR, Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg, Technical University of Münich, Bauhaus Luftfahrt, Airbus Operations GmbH, EADS, MTU Aero Engines, German Biomass Research Center, Hamburg Airport.

Achievements to date

From July to December 2011, 1187 flights were performed which used 1557 tons of biofuel blend.

No flight issues were observed in the course of the project. No difference in engine operation were reported. Fuel consumption was decreased by one percent due to the higher energy density of the biofuel blend.
Neither fuel unmixing nor microbiological contamination was observed during fuel storage.
Inspection of engine and fuel tanks did not reveal any anomaly. Engine components were in perfect condition.

The conclusion of the project was that the biofuel proved its worth in daily flight operation.


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