More investment is being made into using biofuel to make green flights possible. Aeromexico and the Chinese ‘Gutter oil’ flights show biofuel blends can power passenger jets. NASA is also examining the use of renewable biofuels for flights.
NASA is researching ways of making green flights a possibility. Tests in California have shown that a commercial jet can fly with a blend of jet fuel and camelina plant oil. What is more interesting is that they have said under certain conditions the biofuel mix emitted 30% fewer pollutants than standard aviation fuel.
Using biofuels will not only make green flights possible, but also it can reduce foreign dependency on oil. The mix being tested can be added to any current model aircraft, which makes it a promising choice for the aviation industry.
In August 2011 an Aeromexico plane was the first commercial trans-Atlantic flight that had been powered with a biofuel mix. They used a blend jet fuel and refined Jatropha curcas seed oil.
This biofuel can grow on non-arable land, which is great considering most biofuels take up space from croplands and animal feedstock.
China Eastern ‘gutter oil’:
A China Eastern passenger plane called ‘gutter oil’ took a 90-minute test flight, during which it was completely powered by biofuel. This biofuel was refined from gutter and palm oil. The gutter oil used could be made from animal parts, vegetable grease, agriculture waste and algae.
Why invest in biofuel for green flights?
Air travel companies are particularly interested in investing into biofuel technologies because of uncertain oil prices. Oil for aviation costs huge amounts of money. Think about how many gallons are used per flight and the cost of that per flight. In fact many aviation companies will spend half their budget on fuel. This means searching for greener, more efficient alternative to standard jet fuel is a high priority.
This investment is great for the environment and hopefully the future of air travel will be green.
Mexico is one country with ambitious goals, which will require huge investment. They plan to have 1% of all their jet fuel to be biofuel. This is about 40 million litres in real terms. By 2020 they hope to increase this rate to 15%.
It is not only biofuels that are being tested for green flights. The Solar Impulse has been making successful flights across America. This solar powered flight is a green flight. No emissions are released at all.tagsalternative fuelbiofuel