Published on Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Airlines to fly on coconut oil and chip fat

From Big Macs to coconuts the race is on to replace kerosene and avoid BIG emissions costs

Commercial airlines have been given the go-ahead to use fuel made from algae, wood chips and plants with obscure names, whilst all over the world used cooking oil is also being trialled. See

In Dubai the government has fostered a relationship between Dubai-based newly established Neutral Fuels and McDonald"s UAE in a partnership to produce environmentally friendly 100 per cent biodiesel from used vegetable oil.

In the US…ASTM International, an organization that sets worldwide technical standards for the airline and other industries, gave approval for carriers to mix fuel made from organic waste and nonfood plants with kerosene, which is conventionally used to power planes

"A lot of companies have been waiting for the certification," says Mark Rumizen, fuel specialist at the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration."It"s going to drive a lot of investment."

Airbus, which together with Boeing Co. makes about 80 percent of the world"s passenger planes, estimates that by 2030 plant-derived formulas could make up as much as 30 percent of the market for aviation fuel.

Why all this activity?

Well, for one thing , in 2012, carriers with European routes will have to participate in the European Union"s cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions and will have to buy additional permits if they exceed limits set by the European Commission.  So there is big money at stake. See:

In the U.S., the Energy Department, along with state agencies, has granted a total of $348 million in loans, grants, and tax exemptions since 2004 for research centers, fuel producers and refiners.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) plans to put $600 million to a partnership with Synthetic Genomics, a California company that is experimenting with a type of algae that produces an oily substance good for burning. BP Plc (BP/) is conducting research into biobutanol, a fuel processed with the same bacteria used for making cordite, an explosive once used in firearms.

Apparently, Boeing has tested at least 20 different types of fuel derived from organic waste and plants such as jatropha and camelina, found in parts of Europe and North America, as well as organic material, including garbage. See also:

Neste Oil Oyj  a Finnish oil refiner, says all four of its biodiesel production plants can also churn out renewable jet fuel, and it"s in discussions with several airlines about purchase agreements.

Stand by for the airliner that runs on hot air!

Valere Tjolle

Valere is editor of the Sustainable Tourism Report Suite 2011 Special Offers HERE


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