Aviation biofuels

Discussion in 'Conversations Forum' started by Liz, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Victoria Australia [cool temperate]
    Found this this morning. Have cut and pasted it so it is available down the road


    Also a description

    AUSTRALIA may be ideal for growing a 'noxious weed' that can be made into green biofuels capable of replacing airlines jet fuel.
    Air New Zealand boss Rob Fyfe is the latest to suggest northern Australia would be a good place to cultivate jatropha curcas, a hardy plant that can grow in arid lands not suitable for forests or food crops and is a good source of bio-oil.

    European group Airbus recently expressed similar sentiments, and even produced rough calculations on how much land would be needed to supply Australia's jet fuel requirements, reports The Australian.

    Air New Zealand kicked off new biofuel tests last week with a historic 2-hour Boeing 747-400 flight using a 50:50 blend of conventional Jet A1 and biofuel derived from jatropha, with no obvious problems.

    Air New Zealand hopes to be using 10 per cent biofuel in its domestic fleet by 2010.

    Airlines know the fast-growing jatropha plant is considered a noxious weed by the Australian states most suitable for growing it.

    Hundreds of companies, including some in Australia, are preparing to grow the tree.

    "And one of the most obvious areas when we look around the world is northern Australia," he says.

    "The conditions are right: it doesn't need a particularly arable soil environment and it's clearly a lot easier to harvest on flat land in terms of any mechanical harvesting techniques."

    Mr Fyfe says strict biological controls are important, but hopes the plant can be grown commercially for biofuel without threatening Australia's environment.

    An airline chief talking about biofuel would have been dismissed as a blue-sky pipedream not so long ago.

    The first generation of biofuels were unsuitable for aircraft: two years ago the industry was seen as an environmental lost cause.

    But biofuel technology has been developing rapidly and the industry predicts that a commercial plant that's able to produce significant quantities for use in jet engines will be running as early as 2012.

    Other airlines are also exploring biofuels.

    Continental Airlines is planning a Boeing 737-800 flight testing a blend of jet and biofuel, while Japan Air Lines will this month test a biofuel using another second-generation plant feedstock, camelina, on a 747-300.

    The difficulty with developing an aviation biofuel is the exacting standards it must meet, and the fact that it has to operate over a wide temperature, starting at a low freeze point of -47C to -40C so it can sit in extremely cold wing tanks on long flights.
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Britain zone 8/9
    Not a chance. Every hectare planted with crops (whatever the crop) is a hectare less for the environment. Whether that is a price worth paying is another matter.

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