After months of exhaustive ground and flight trials, the indigenously produced bio-fuel has been cleared for use by the premier airworthiness certification agency of the country.
In a meeting on January 22 chaired by its Chief Executive, the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) P Jayapal deliberated in detail the results of various checks and tests conducted on bio-jet fuel as per procedure recommended by top national and international certification agencies, an official press release said.
On being satisfied with the performance parameters, the agency has formally granted its approval for use of this fuel, produced from non-conventional source i.e. non-edible vegetable/ tree borne oil to be used on military aircraft.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has in collaboration with IAF, research organisations and the industry brought out a new standard for Aviation Turbine Fuels. These specifications will align Indian standards with current international standards.
A committee constituted with domain experts was tasked to originate the required standards. After a series of deliberations over the past nine months, an Indian Standard IS 17081:2019 Aviation Turbine Fuel (Kerosene Type, Jet A-1) containing Synthesised Hydrocarbons, has been formulated.
Air Marshal R K S Shera, Air Officer-in-Charge Maintenance, Indian Air Force and BIS Director General Surina Rajan released this standard on January 24 at the Air Head Quarters. This standard would enable the oil companies to manufacture bio-jet fuel for the Indian aviation industry.
Given the advent of Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) by 2027, this is a significant development which could reduce the carbon emissions and help India become a green fuel production hub, the release said.
The bio-jet fuel has been produced from seeds of Jatropha plant sourced from Chhattisgarh and processed at CSIR-IIP’s lab in Dehradun. This approval enables the IAF to fulfil its commitment to fly the maiden IAF AN-32 aircraft on January 26 with a blend of bio-jet fuel.
Any hardware or software which is to be used on Indian military aircraft, including those operated by Indian Navy or Army has to be cleared for use by CEMILAC before being inducted for regular use. This clearance is a major step for continued testing and eventual full certification of the bio-jet fuel for use on a commercial scale by civil aircraft as well.
Increased demand of bio-jet fuel would give impetus to increase in collection of tree-borne non-edible oil seeds, which, in turn, will help generate ancillary income, increase remuneration for tribal and marginal farmers, and enthuse cultivation/ collection of oilseed, the release added.
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