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Boeing 787 Dreamliner makes first-ever biofuel-powered Pacific crossing

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April 17, 2012

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner has made the first biofuel-powered aircraft crossing of the Pacifi...

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner has made the first biofuel-powered aircraft crossing of the Pacific Ocean

Boeing made headlines last June, when its new 747-8 Freighter crossed the Atlantic Ocean running partially on biofuel. Yesterday, one of the company's 787 Dreamliners set a similar milestone – it crossed the Pacific Ocean using a biofuel mix. It was not only the first time that such fuel has been used in a 787, but also marked the first biofuel-powered aircraft crossing of the Pacific.

The fuel was derived mainly from used cooking oil, and was used in conjunction with regular jet fuel – Boeing hasn’t stated what the proportion was.

The aircraft, owned and operated by Japan’s All Nippon Airways, made a delivery flight from Boeing's Delivery Center in Everett, Washington to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. In doing so, it is estimated that it produced approximately 30% less emissions than a similarly-sized conventional aircraft. About 10% of that reduction is said to be due to the fuel choice, with the other 20% attributed to the aircraft’s energy-efficient features, which include a body made from lightweight carbon fiber composite material.

Source: Boeing

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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10 Comments

I appreciate that one must be cautious when flying but why not just go 100% and let it fly? From what I understand a jet engine could practically burn water once up to speed and altitude? What do they think will happen? Just have a reserve tank of regular jet fuel if something should go wrong? I like that they're doing this I just wish they would get on with it and use all biofuel. :-)

mrhuckfin
17th April, 2012 @ 05:28 pm PDT

More and more airlines are trying biofuels as an alternative to fossil fuels. I think this is great and I hope this eventually leads into its full use. In Canada, Porter Airlines just today had a paid test flight, check it out :

LINK : http://biofuelschat.com/topics/porter-airlines-operates-q400-biofuel-flight

jeepzj
17th April, 2012 @ 08:06 pm PDT

re; mrhuckfin

It has to be a flammable liquid, and the biofuels cost more and provide less energy.

Slowburn
17th April, 2012 @ 11:05 pm PDT

Bet the proportion is 50/50 as precendently used in such attempts.

Whatever source of biofuels might be used...if resisting the very low outside temperature during the flight (-50°C or so).

2 "almost breakthrough" this time

First a trans pacific flight (one of the longest you could operate), and second such an attempt with a commercial flight with true flesh and bones passangers

watersworm
18th April, 2012 @ 03:19 am PDT

But the first calculation of the forests destroyed or other habitats necessary to produce enough fuel for a day of flight in entire world can somebody think about?

Iosif Eugen Olimpiu
18th April, 2012 @ 08:05 am PDT

While this is a great publicity stunt, consider the broader ramifications.

1. The usual jet fuel is kerosene, or something close to it. Low freezing temperature is valuable in high altitude flight. Yes, cooking oil can be used, but may have to be preheated first. cooking oil is close to diesel fuel in viscosity.

2. The total amount of cooking oil in use, worldwide, if recycled after use, would not be enough to keep the current airliners of the world running. Just like the US ethanol subsidies encourage the burning of enough corn to feed half of Latin America, so too would use of this version of Bio-fuel cause the waste of a huge amount of food.

This is as I said, a great stunt, but it won't make air travel into something 'eco friendly'.

YetAnotherBob
18th April, 2012 @ 09:52 am PDT

@Bob and Slowburn:

This article did not mention the source of the bio-fuel used in this demonstration. The bio-fuel that will dominate the liquid fuels industry within a decade (you mark my word on this) will be derived from micro-algae. (most of our fossil oil was). Being grown in greenhouses or on the ocean it will not compete with food production, as most of the seed derived oils do. The following video will explain the process so that those who have yet to learn about algae can understand.

Happy (green) flying ...

Ed

Edward Kerr
18th April, 2012 @ 11:15 am PDT

Feed people, not jets.

Displacing land used for food crops means more deforestation and habitat loss to make up for that loss.

This is only good for greedy beancounters and one percenters...it is one of the most horrible and disastrous examples of use of organic feedstocks

solutions4circuits
18th April, 2012 @ 04:11 pm PDT

re; Edward Kerr

The only way that biofuel will dominate the liquid fuel market in the next 50 years is if a fascist government* implements it by decree.

*Black, red, or green makes no difference.

Slowburn
18th April, 2012 @ 07:38 pm PDT

Thank you Edward Kerr, indeed without your insight , which was new to me, this article would not have been useful

abumalik
21st April, 2012 @ 07:24 am PDT
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