Painting the Sky Green

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Biofuel is the call !

Airlines will now be joining the green bandwagon, by using alternative material in place of fuel. Commercial airlines have now been given the go-ahead to use fuel made from algae,?wood chips and other plants with obscure names.

Test flights in recent years by?United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL), Japan Airlines Co. and Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. have shown that planes can fly on everything from coconut oil to Jatropha, a plant that grows in the tropics.

On July?1, ASTM International, an American 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.

It will help reduce pollution caused by carriers that account for 2 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions and blamed for damaging the Earth’s atmosphere.

“We’re extremely pleased to see the approval of the first group of biofuels for aviation,” Billy Glover, Boeing Co.’s vice-president of environment and aviation policy, said in an email.

“The ASTM Emerging Fuels Taskforce, co-led by Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration, worked for years to enable aviation to diversify its fuel sources and reduce our environmental footprint.”


Virgin?Atlantic?Airways?Ltd?in?2008?became?the?first?airline?to?fly?a?plane?using?first-generation?biofuel from?babassu?nuts?and?coconut?oil?blended?with?kerosene.? The?UK?carrier?said?non-food?biofuel?will?takeover?in?the?longer?term.

On Wednesday, Air France-KLM Group operated the world’s first commercial flight using a blend that included cooking oil.

Deutsche?Lufthansa?AG,?Air?New?Zealand?Ltd,?Air?France-KLM?Group?and?Japan Airlines?Co?have?since undertaken?test?flights. Within?the?next?few weeks,?Lufthansa and?Airbus?will?fly?passengers?fromHamburg?to?Frankfurt?on?a?plane?with?one engine?50-percent?powered?by?biofuel.


Boeing?also?says?that?it?is?possible,?though?the?Chicago-based?manufacturer?is focusing?first?on?building a?biofuel industry?that can?provide 1?percent of?airlines’ annual?needs?by?2015.


Biofuels are considered as the next best thing that has happened to the airline industry. With the rising fuel costs and their depleting reserves, biofuels might turn out to be a great asset in near future.

Last month, EADS, the European Aerospace giant, revealed its plans for a biofuel powered supersonic ?rocket-plane? that will take passengers from Paris to Tokyo (air distance of more than 12,000 miles or 19,500 km) in a mere 2.5 hours. That means it will fly at a hypersonic speed of 5000 km/hour (Sound travels at 1200 km/hour). The plane is, however, slated to be in operation only in 2050.

Being in the midst of the green revolution, words like ‘green’, ‘recycle’, ‘waste’, ‘resources’, and a bunch of more green lingo, has surrounded our lives like never before.

With these words come a bunch of more words, to use these words with. ‘Newspaper’, ‘Plastic’, ‘Aluminum’, ‘Jute’, and the sort. Now let’s add one more to the list ? fuel!

Sources: Bloomberg, groundsupportworldwide, brighthub, chinadaily, techie-buzz

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