KLM fuels planes with old cooking oil

Next time you enjoy a plate of pommes frites, you can feel smug that you’re doing your bit for the environment. Dutch airline KLM has announced plans to use recycled cooking oil to fuel planes on its Paris to Amsterdam route.

Starting in September, Schipol and De Gaulle will presumably gain a rather appetizing odor, with more than 200 flights operating using the biofuel.

“In November 2009 we demonstrated that it was technically possible to fly on biokerosene,” says managing director Camiel Eurlings.

“Now, a year and a half after our first demonstration flight on Camelina, a new phase has been entered around the world, that of certification. Authorisation will soon be granted to operate commercial flights on biofuel.”

The fuel is produced by Dynamic Fuels and supplied by SkyNRG, a consortium launched by KLM and North Sea Group and Spring Associates in 2009.


KLM says it’s open to using other biofuels, as long as they meet its sustainability criteria and don’t require any modification to aircraft engines. But, says Eurlings, biofuels are currently too expensive to replace kerosene on any grand scale.

“The route to 100 percent sustainable energy is enormously challenging. The costs of biofuels need to come down substantially and permanently,” he says.

This can be achieved through innovation, collaboration and the right legislation that stimulates biofuel in the airline industry, but with an eye on honest competition.”