Biofuel for Airlines

Air New Zealand is moving firmly towards its goal to use biofuel for its jets by 2013. The airliner plans to get 10% of its jet engine fuel from a poisonous shrub.

The shrub, Jatropha, grows in arid and tropical areas, so it’s available worldwide from India to parts of Africa and North America. According to Wikipedia, the shrub is resistant to droughts and pests, and its seeds contain upto 40% oil.

The New Zealand airliner used a mixture of 50-50 of Jatropha oil and jet fuel in one of its four Rolls-Royce engines on December 30 to make a test flight for two hours of its Boeing 747.

But as the oil price is falling again, so how cost-effective it will be in future that’s a question. However, it’s a environment friendly green fuel and as it can reduce the use of maize as biofuel source, so it can help keeping the line of food production (and price) stable.

Source: Reuters

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