Jatropha is a weed that grows in plenty in nations like India, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania and is often a serious threat to food crops as it grows at a rapid pace and uses up all nutrients in soil. But Air New Zealand along with Boeing and Rolls Royce’s testing unit are turning this unwanted pest into biofuel for flights of tomorrow.
Boeing committed to going the biofuel way for jets because it sees a very urgent need to change from fossil fuel dependency that has been affecting the planet and the aviation industry in a seriously negative way.
Air New Zealand is helping them in this regard as both of them are coming together for a test flight on December 3 that will be powered by a 50/50 blend of Jet A-1 fuel and a synthetic paraffinic kerosene derived from Jatropha that was developed by UOP (!! pdf link)
Rolls Royce has successfully tested this mix and has found it good enough for a Boeing flight. Now it will be just a matter of time, some fine tweaking and maybe a little luck before we have jets that are completely powered by biofuel derived from algae and weed. – via Ecogeek
Image courtesy of Thomas@Bod