Jan 21, 2011

Science Scene - Biojet Fuel

Australian airline Qantas will announce this month that they will be building the world's second commercial-scale plant to produce biojet fuel completely made from waste for its aircraft.

The airline is partnering with Solena, an American biofuel maker to build the plant, which will convert food scraps, household materials like grass and tree cuttings, and agricultural and industrial waste into biojet fuel.  

Solena has already partnered with British Airways to build a similar plant in London that will convert 500,000 tons of waste into 16 million gallons of biojet fuel a year.  That plant will be up and running in 2014.

Almost every airline has been testing biofuels in their aircraft, with successful results so far. Right now, only a 50/50 blend of biofuel and jet fuel is certified for use in the U.S. and the U.K., though British Airways is looking to use 100 percent biojet fuel once it's approved.

So, why is can't this American company do this here?  It amazes me how far ahead of us Europe is when it comes to environmental friendliness.  We must find a way to fight the special interest and NIMBY activists.  If not for our sakes, how about our children's?


  1. The oil lobby in this country is too strong.

  2. About Toon's comment, I hope not, but then it appears.......

    Good post, I love the idea of bio fuel from waste. We have so much of it. I have never been able to picture enough BIO fuel from 'corn sunflower' etc to make a difference, but waste, I am glad someone is using it.

    We need to somehow do what is right 'for our country here'.

  3. We will get there Ken. It is a travesty that other industrialized nations have gotten there well ahead of us. As Toon said the oil lobby is a formidable opponent here and they also tend to be able to use large scale societal thinking much more often than we are willing to here.


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