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Qantas Flies Dreamliner Using Biofuels

Following a growing trend in the aviation industry, Qantas became the first carrier to fly from the United States to Australia using biofuel to power a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The fuel is based on a mustard seed, which reduces the traditional carbon footprint of refining fuels by 80 percent.

Qantas has found a new way to power airplanes flying between the United States and their home country of Australia: mustard seeds. Traveller Magazine reports that the airline became the first to run the route using a biofuel blend based off a special variety of the seed.

Operating Qantas Flight 96 from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Melbourne Airport (MEL), Monday’s flight was loaded with 24,000 pounds of the biofuel, accounting for a 10 percent mix with traditional jet fuel. The fuel, derived from the Brassica carinata seed by Canadian company Agrisoma Biosciences, has an 80 percent smaller carbon footprint as compared to traditional jet fuel refinement and could reduce emissions by as much as seven percent.

Scientists honed in on the mustard seed as a renewable fuel source because of its ability to grow during crop rotations, as well as the high-quality oil it produces. According to Agrisoma, approximately 2.4 acres of harvested mustard seeds can produce nearly 370 gallons of biodiesel and just over 105 gallons of biofuels.

While this is the first biofuel flight for the Australian flag carrier, it certainly won’t be the last. Qantas says they want to start consistently incorporating biofuels by 2020, with plans to work with the Agrisoma and Australian farmers to harvest the needed mustard seeds.

Qantas is not the first airline to experiment with biofuels for aircraft. In 2016, both Alaska Airlines and United Airlines experimented with biofuels on aircraft, while Dutch flag carrier KLM is putting sustainability in the forefront of their operations by reducing their carbon footprint both inside the cabin and in the skies.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

Comments are Closed.
bricksoft January 31, 2018

How many square kilometres of mustard seed needs to be grown per day to fuel the airline industry?

J S January 30, 2018

That is some pretty amazing bio fuel. It caused the 787 to grow an extra engine.

CitizenWorld January 30, 2018

Flying the SYD to JNB I believe, QF Boeing 747-400ER.

eng3 January 30, 2018

isnt that a picture of a 747 with a spare engine?