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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Up, up and away! Bio-fuel ready to power airplanes!

From Scientific American:

Bill Glover, managing director of environmental strategy for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, which is leading an effort to develop, test and certify alternative jet fuels, said the technology is ready. Now, it is just a matter of growing enough non-food feedstock plants and refining enough of their oil.

"We've proven the technical capability of biofuel as a drop-in replacement," Glover said. "It meets all jet fuel requirements and then some."

Not only has the industry proved the technical capability, but it also has shown that biofuels can improve overall fuel efficiency.

Air New Zealand said yesterday that using a 50 percent blend of biofuel with traditional jet A-1 fuel can improve fuel efficiency by more than 1 percent, according to data collected during the December 2008 test flight. On a 12-hour flight, that would save 1.43 metric tons of fuel and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 4.5 metric tons, the airline said.

Read the whole article, with an analysis of the different bio-fuel options here, or read what we said about it’s potential 6 months ago here.

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