Qantas flies Los Angeles-Melbourne on mustard seed biofuel - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Commercial, Sourcing Renewables  -  January 30, 2018

Qantas flies LA-Melbourne on mustard seed biofuel

Qantas flew the world’s first US-Australia flight powered by biofuel on Monday. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner was powered by 24,000 kilograms of a mustard seed-based blended fuel.

As reported by Traveller, the flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne used biofuel extracted a mustard seed that can offer an 80%-reduction in carbon emissions across its life cycle compared to traditional jet fuel. For this first flight, the biofuel made up 10% of total fuel used, for a 7% drop in emissions on the route.

 The biofuel, developed by Canadian agricultural-technology company Agrisoma Biosciences, uses the Brassica carinata mustard seed, which can be sown in fallow areas where other crops have failed or between crop cycles, providing an economic advantage for farmers.  

 "It's a tough crop," explained Steve Fabijanski, Agrisoma’s CEO. "It grows where other crops won't grow. It doesn't need much water and it's well understood by farmers. They can grow it and do well with it." One hectare of seeds can yield 400 liters of biofuel and 1400 liters of renewable diesel.

Qantas aims to have flights running regularly on biofuel by 2020. "The biofuel goes through exactly the same certification and tests as standard aviation," said Alison Webster, Qantas International CEO, including engineering, safety and performance checks.


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