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Boeing examines "green diesel" as a sustainable aviation biofuel

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January 15, 2014

Boeing is seeking approval to fly aircraft on green diesel

Boeing is seeking approval to fly aircraft on green diesel

Over the past few years, we've heard about "green" airliners running on a mixture of jet fuel and biofuels made from things like plants and recycled cooking oil. Now, Boeing is looking at blending jet fuel with green diesel, which is already used to fuel trucks.

Green diesel is derived from oil and fat-based feedstocks, as are the biofuels that have been used in planes before. It differs from biodiesel, however, in that it's not processed in the same fashion, and has a different chemical makeup.

According to studies conducted by Boeing, the blended aviation fuel should produce 50 percent less carbon dioxide than straight petroleum jet fuel. Additionally, green diesel should cost about the same as regular jet fuel, once US government incentives are factored in.

Existing production facilities that are already producing green diesel for ground transportation could conceivably meet up to one percent of the demand for jet fuel.

"We are collaborating with our industry partners and the aviation community to move this innovative solution forward and reduce the industry's reliance on fossil fuel," says Dr. James Kinder, a Technical Fellow in Boeing Commercial Airplanes Propulsion Systems Division.

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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6 Comments

After being massively subsidized it should cost the same as regular fuel.

Slowburn
15th January, 2014 @ 11:09 pm PST

Unless biofuel uses already-used oils it ought to be banned, otherwise whole tracts of farmland will be taken over growing fuel when it should be used for growing food.

MattII
15th January, 2014 @ 11:50 pm PST

I hope they will have learnt from the 10% (or worse) ethenol / petrol blends debacle!

Sprung on the public too quickly, without allowing for the side effects - damage to gaskets, water absorbtion from the air, lower mileage, etc., etc.

The Skud
15th January, 2014 @ 11:55 pm PST

Either Boeing is going to magic some additional arable land from somewhere, or it has another solution to the simple fact that we are going to need all the arable land we can lay our hands on, and probably even more, to feed the growing population without setting some aside for growing aviation fuel.

The aviation industry has set its face against tackling climate change at every opportunity in the past. Now that the position of climate change deniers is becoming ever more out of kilter with the evidence we are seeing moves by big corporations and, of course, weather-vane politicians, to ingratiate themselves in the eyes of the public. This project seems to fit that description perfectly.

Mel Tisdale
16th January, 2014 @ 04:48 am PST

Dear Slowburn, 2 words, carbon tax (or pollution tax). Then we would get to real solutions.

Clarity
16th January, 2014 @ 10:42 am PST

Dear Clarity, 2 words, reproduction tax (or pollution generator tax). The real problem is exponential.

Paulinator
17th January, 2014 @ 05:09 pm PST
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