The airlines are prime targets for a CO2 tax so they have taken steps years ago to develop renewable bio-fuels. They will be successful because they have worked together as a team along with plane and jet engine manufacturers. Tax advocates mutter about the CO2 that comes from the oil sands in Alberta but this industry also is acting in a proactive way to change from “dirty” to “clean”. In fact, any industry that faces a CO2 tax should start a biochar business to create it’s own offsetts.
The Boeing Company (BA) and a team from across the aviation industry just released high-level elements of a June 2009 study that shows that sustainable biofuels analyzed in a series of pioneering test flights performed favorably in comparison to petroleum-based fuel.
..the study showed the Bio-SPK fuel blends used in the test flight program met or exceeded all technical parameters for commercial jet aviation fuel. Those standards include freezing point, flash point, fuel density and viscosity, among others.
The tests revealed that using the Bio-SPK fuel blends had no adverse effects on the engines or their components. They also showed that the fuels have greater energy content by mass than typical petroleum-derived jet fuel – which potentially could lower fuel consumption per mile. Renewable jet fuels from bio-derived sources are being considered because of their ability to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
Each of the test flights used a different blend of biofuel sources: The Air New Zealand flight used fuel derived from jatropha; the Continental flight used a blend of jatropha and algae-based fuels; and the JAL flight used a blend of jatropha, algae and camelina-based fuels.