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TOULOUSE: The first flight of an Airbus A380 test bed has completed a three-hour flight from Toulouse with one Rolls Royce Trent 900 engine powered entirely by Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

Total Energies supplied the aerospace manufacturer with 27 tonnes of unblended SAF made from Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA), free of aromatics and sulphur, and primarily consisting of used cooking oil, plus other waste fats.

The aircraft will make a second flight from Toulouse to Nice on March 29 to test the use of SAF during A380 takeoffs and landings.

With a current 50 percent limit on the use of SAF, the flight-testing is designed to achieve 100 percent certification by 2030 as a major contributor to achieving the airline industry’s ambition of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Earlier this month TotalEnergies’ Normandy site began production of SAF as a complement to biojet fuel production at its La Mède biorefinery, Bouches-du-Rhône and the Oudalle plant, Seine-Maritime. In 2024 the company will also be producing SAF from its Grandpuits zero-crude platform southeast of Paris.

All of its biojet fuel production, destined for French airports, will be produced from waste and residue using a circular economic model.

"By announcing the start-up of SAF production at a new site in France, we are responding to strong demand from the aviation industry to reduce its carbon footprint,” commented Bernard Pinatel, TotalEnergies president of Refining & Chemicals.

In a related development, on March 22 the French oil major responded to Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine by declaring it will “no longer enter into or renew contracts to purchase Russian oil and petroleum products, in order to halt all its purchases of Russian oil and petroleum products as soon as possible and by the end of 2022 at the latest”.
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