In the past couple of years, we've seen many, many tests being carried out by numerous different airlines and agencies to study the possibilities of using biofuel as an entire replacement for or as a blend with conventional jet fuel. But biofuels as a replacement for petroleum-based jet fuel may not be the ideal solution.
Biofuels are better than straight petroleum-based products, but there are drawbacks to biofuels, as well. Dedicating cropland to grow fuel crops can cut down on the available land and farming resources for food production. There are arguments against algae-based fuels, as well. They don't compete with food for farmland, but the industrial infrastructure needed to produce algae-based fuel at scale is a daunting prospect.
Of course, conversion to any new material is a daunting prospect. The development of new technologies will eventually be necessary, one way or another. To continue to research alternatives and to find the best mix of feedstock for alternative fuels is importatnt not only for aviation, but for all energy technologies.
Virgin Atlantic, which is one of the many airlines to have tested biofuels, is now exploring a jet fuel replacement that, rather than using bio materials as feedstock, is derrived from waste industrial gas from steel production. But if that relies on petroleum fuels as the original feedstock, then the long term viability of that process is also questionable.
written by Mark, October 26, 2011
written by VisualCarbon, October 28, 2011
written by Sapoty, October 28, 2011
written by Seattle WA SQBiofuels.com, September 12, 2012
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