Image default
Business Projects

Qantas to halve its carbon emissions from 2020 with biofuel-powered planes.

Qantas will in 2020 power US-Australia flights with biofuelWe are constantly looking for ways to become more fuel efficient and embrace new technologies and this partnership is a significant step on that journey.”

In 2020, Qantas, the airline that eight years ago became one of the first to power a commercial flight with biofuel, will use plant-derived fuel for all services between Los Angeles and Australia.

In 2012, Qantas ran a plane between Los Angeles and Adelaide on the superstition-inducing day of Friday 13th with fuel comprising an equal 50/50 split of airline jet fuel and sunflower oil-based jet fuel. It was unable to carry out more flights at the time, however, owing to the fact that biofuel wasnt being produced at anywhere near the industrial scale that it is today. Now, with supply problems soon to be a thing of the past, Qantas will buy 80m gallons (364m litres) of renewable jet fuel from US bio-energy company, SG Preston, over the next 10 years to run the route.

The 50:50 ratio is the same that the 2020 flights will use, confirmed Qantas, but it would instead use a sustainable non-food plant oils fuel. The latest version of biofuel that will power the cross-Pacific flight emits half the amount of carbon emissions for each gallon over its life cycle than standard jet fuel.

Iberia powered a plane before Qantas with biofuel back in 2011In 2011, it was reported that Spains national airline, Iberia, operated the countrys first commercial flight using a 75/25 mix of traditional jet fuel and biofuel derived from the camelina sativa plant.

Qantas said that the pioneering commercial biofuel agreement with SG Preston formed part of the aviation companys commitment to lowering carbon emissions across its operations.

Qantas unveiling its first biofuel-powered planes in 2012

We are constantly looking for ways to become more fuel efficient and embrace new technologies and this partnership is a significant step on that journey, said Gareth Evans, chief executive officer of Qantas International and Freight, adding that it chose the US because the country has a biofuel industry more advanced that Australias.

Through our biofuel program we are also exploring renewable jet fuel opportunities in Australia and continue to work with suppliers to develop locally produced biofuels for aviation use, he said.

Qantas has not yet specified which Australian cities would be served by the new biofuel-powered fleet but, with Qantas offering links between Canberra and Perth (7,600 and 9,300 miles, respectively), the move by the company highlights the progress thats been made with biofuel technology in recent years.

Welcoming the deal, the director of environment at IATA (International Air Transport Association), the trade body that represents the worlds airlines, said: Deals such as these are critical to the development of an aviation biofuel sector globally and the achievement of the aviation industrys climate goals.

You may also be interested in these stories from Bio-Based World News

UK government announces sustainable airline fuel from rubbish funding.

Olive waste ideal for biofuel and agriculture, say scientists.

Canadas largest airline begins testing the benefits of biofuel.

Algae, the super biofuel that one day will power our cars.

Related posts

Goodyear’s new Oxygene concept tyre aims to help drive the circular economy forward.

Luke Upton

Could a PhD student have the breakthrough technology to reduce the price of biochemicals?

Emily Odowd

5 Minutes With…Kate Krueger from New Harvest.

Liz Gyekye

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More