An AN-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force

The indigenously produced bio-fuel, which has been approved for military use, will now power IAF’s AN-32 aircraft during Republic Day flypast

New Delhi: The premier airworthiness certification agency of the country has finally cleared indigenously produced bio-fuel for use in military aircraft, a massive development that could give a boost to commercial airline operators as well.

The Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) has granted approval for the use of bio-jet fuel — after months of exhaustive ground and flight trials — that is produced from the seeds of the Jatropha plant. The fuel was processed at the CSIR-IIP lab in Dehradun, with the seeds sourced from Chhattisgarh.

The approval enables the IAF to fulfil its commitment to ensuring that the AN-32 aircraft’s maiden flight, on Republic Day, is conducted with a blend of bio-jet fuel.

For use of bio-jet fuel on all military and civilian aircraft, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), in collaboration with the IAF, research organisations and the industry, has brought out a new standard for Aviation Turbine Fuels. These specifications will align Indian standards with current international standards, an official statement by CEMILAC said.

This standard will 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 that could reduce the carbon emissions and help India become a green fuel production hub, it added.