Continental Says Biofuel Flight Test Results Positive

HOUSTON (AP) -- Continental Airlines Inc. said on Wednesday that the biofuel it used on a test flight in January was 1.1 percent more efficient than regular jet fuel.

Continental said it was pleased with the results and will work with its partners on the flight -- Boeing and units of GE Aviation and Honeywell -- to certify the fuel, which was partially derived from algae.

"We hope to see these fuels produced in commercial quantities in the near future," said Leah Raney, Continental's managing director of global environmental affairs.

Large-scale use of biofuels in airline engines is expected to be several years away. But plane makers Boeing and Airbus have been developing planes that run on biofuels. And so far this year Air New Zealand flew with a 50-50 blend of jet fuel and oil from the plum-sized fruit known as jatropha, and Japan Air Lines flew with a mix that was 42 percent camelina, an oilseed crop grown in the north-central U.S.

Continental shares rose 71 cents, or 7.6 percent, to $10.05 in midday trading.

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