Thursday, 8 January 2009

Algae-fuelled jet

The BBC reports that a US airline has completed a 90 minute first test flight of a plane partly powered by biofuel derived from algae. The twin-engine Continental Boeing 737-800 completed a circuit over the Gulf of Mexico with one of its engines powered by a 50-50 blend of biofuel and normal aircraft fuel.

The biofuel used was a blend of two different types of alternative oils - algae and jatropha.
Jatropha is a plant that grows successfully in poor soils and marginal land and yields four times more fuel per hectare than soybean. However, algae is viewed by many as a key fuel for the future because it is fast growing, does not compete with food crops for arable land, and yields up to 30 times more fuel than standard energy crops.

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