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Qatar Airlines claim first commercial flight powered by fuel made from natural gas
October 14th, 2009 by elisa

Airbus 330-200 Qatar Airlines (A7-AFL) by malpo90.

Qatar Aircraft by Flickr User Malpo90

Claimed as the world’s first commercial passenger flight using this form of power source, a Qatar Airways aircraft recently flew from Gatwick to Doha powered by a fuel made from natural gas.

The fuel is an alternative to conventional oil-based kerosene, which will contribute to diversification of aviation fuel supply, according to the airline. It also burns with lower sulphur dioxide and particulate emissions than conventional oil-based kerosene, this makes it attractive for improving local air quality at busy airports, Qatar Airways have reported.

Shell developed and produced the 50-50 blend of synthetic Gas to Liquids (GTL) kerosene and conventional oil-based kerosene fuel. Qatar will become the world’s leading producer of GTL kerosene when it puts it into commercial production from 2012. This type of fuel will be known as GTL Jet Fuel.

The GTL kerosene will be produced in commercial quantities by the Pearl GTL project, currently under construction by Qatar Petroleum and Shell. The project is expected to produce around one million tonnes per annum of GTL kerosene from 2012, enough to power a typical commercial airliner for half a billion kilometres (this is equivalent to carrying 250 passengers around the world 4,000 times) when used in a 50% blend to make GTL Jet Fuel.


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