December 31, 2008

Biojet fuels to power airplanes

In this Associated Press report, I read that, this week, Air New Zealand tested a passenger jet that was powered partially with oil from a plum-sized fruit known as jatropha (see photo below to get an idea of what a jatropha plant looks like).

One engine of the Boeing 747-400 airplane was powered by a 50-50 blend of oil from jatropha plants and standard A1 jet fuel. The flight was a joint venture by Air New Zealand, airplane maker Boeing, engine maker Rolls Royce and biofuel specialist UOP, a unit of Honeywell International.

Reading the article, I also learned that, besides jatropha plants, there are other promising biojet fuels such as switch grass, algae, and salt-tolerant plants called halophytes.



Photo source
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