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TAM to fly biofuel test flight

TAM, which will soon be a member of Star Alliance, plans to hold a non-commercial demonstration flight in the second half of the year, with a mixture of biofuel that includes Brazilian vegetable biomass from the Jatropha plant. The airplane will be an Airbus A320 equipped with CFM56-5B engines.

“We have put forth our best efforts to use Brazilian raw materials in the production of this biofuel, with significant economic and social gains. A source of aviation bio-kerosene, the biomass is 100 per cent domestic, resulting from family agricultural projects and large farms in the hinterlands of Brazil, devoted to the pioneer cultivation of the Jatropha,” said TAM´s CEO, Líbano Barroso.

Through an agreement with the Brazilian Association of Jatropha Producers (ABPPM), TAM will study ways to further develop the Jatropha sustainable production on a commercial scale.

There are 60,000 hectares of land in Brazil with Jatropha plantations. Considering the natural resources and the favorable climatic conditions, a large amount of degraded pastures might be recovered by using this plant. To attain commercial levels of production, about one million hectares would be needed, which would be sufficient to service about 20 per cent of domestic consumption.

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