The American Society for Testing and Materials International has approved the use of a 50% synthetic jet fuel in commercial aviation.

Synthetic liquid jet fuels can be made from biomass, natural gas or coal and are known as xTL fuels.

Airbus vice president for sustainable development and eco-efficiency Christian Dumas said that this breakthrough paves the way for a 100% xTL blend made entirely from bio feedstock, such as woodchip waste.

The approval of using alternative fuels will result in a reduced environmental footprint for aviation industry.

Airbus estimates that 30% of jet fuel used in 2030 could be sustainable biojet fuel if maturity of alternative high-yield non-food feedstocks occur in the middle of the next decade.

In February 2008, an Airbus A380 flew, for the first time, using a 40% blend of synthetic fuel derived from natural gas (GTL) supplied by Shell.