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Airliner Completes Transoceanic Flight Using Green Fuel Sourced from Vegetable Oil

915 million tons of carbon were produced by the commercial aviation industry in 2019, but the industry is working to make that number smaller. In fact, many major players have a target of halving their emissions by 2050 in comparison to 2005. Reducing aviation-related carbon emissions is no easy task though, but one path to sustainability might be more sustainable fuel. ( Plus d'info...

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mbrews 2
Fun to imagine a marketing commercial, to the tune of Tony Bennetts 60's song " I left my heart in San Francisco "

" Well I'm flying back to 'Frisco, on a jet that burns Crisco "
Ken Riehl 8
So, burning vegetable oil “does not” result in the creation of CO2 and CO, or contaminants such as SOX & NOX... ???
I call bovine excrement on this...
ToddBaldwin3 -1
You are correct. Burning a biofuel does result in CO2, SOX, although the sulfur content of biofuels will be lower. You'll also get NOXs since we can't get rid of that pesky nitrogen in the atmosphere. The point here is, rather than releasing carbon, as CO2 from ancient fossil fuels and increasing the global concentration of CO2, burning biofuels will, in theory operate as a net zero loop. Some plant absorbs CO2, uses it to sustain it's metabolism and growth, it gets harvested, converted into vegetable oil, then into biofuel, then combusted to produce CO2, water and heat. That process is not 100% efficient, and a lot of CO2 gets produced just in making the biofuel. The hope is the net release of CO2 will be significantly less than just burning fossil fuels. This is a demonstration, a start. We'll have to see where it leads.
Greg S 5
Logically, this makes absolutely zero sense. Net CO2 = CO2 Produced - CO2 Consumed (by plants presumably). The source of the production is not relevant, whether fossil fuel or biofuel. Plants do not know or care where their CO2 comes from, fossil fuels or biofuels. The only way the variables mentioned can be tuned reduce CO2 is to 1) have more plants, or 2) reduce the production of C02 regardless of the source, or both.
E Klassen 0
We have put pure sesame seed oil in a diesel tractor and it ran very well. Rudolf Diesel was likely murdered for his insistence that his engine could run on vegatable oils.
Greg S 0
Everyone knows that Rudolf "The Red Nosed" Diesel was killed by Big Pharma.
The rumor that the passengers smelled like McDonald's French Fries when they arrived, has been disputed by Atlas Air, although all passengers and all but one of the crew were later found in the airport McDonald's Cafe, the lone exception, the first officer, was found rooting in a flower pot containing vegetable sprouts. Atlas Air Worldwide will be serving Happy Meals on all future flights...
Greg S 5
In addition to all the other objections raised, note that burning "bio-fuel" is still a combustion process that produces CO2. The article uses weasel language like "up to 80% less carbon ... based on a life-cycle analysis" that I can promise you is "up to 95%" bullshit.
jptq63 1
May be wrong, but did not Virgin Atlantic do a flight and almost run out of fuel in a bio-fuel flight several years ago? Agree 2.3% is not much, but maybe they are being over careful to try to find a blend that will work in the long run; i.e. how does B20 impact fuel consumption / MPG vs. straight diesel. What would be a reasonable blended ratio for Jet-A (or A1) to prevent freezing and no impact to fuel consumption.
Chris Croft 4
Underwhelming is an understatement. This is the airlines public relations departments trying to make it appear they are concerned about "climate change", what utter nonsense.
Roy Thomas 5
Which has a greater impact on the long-term sustainability of the planet. Fuel emissions or depleting the Ogallala aquifer to grow fuel?
Mike Mohle 6
Exhaust smells like french fries I'll bet. LOL
canuck44 5
This is tokenism at best not much more than a PR stunt to satisfy those who have swallowed the climate change hoax the same group who will think this tiny achievement is significant.
Roger Anderson 10
I found this underwhelming since they only used 2.3% of vegetable based fuel. These titles make it seem like the entire thing was fueled on vege oil.
Stuart Betheil 1
Every little bit helps. Maybe it will spread to other carriers.
mbrews 3
Nothing has been mentioned about cost per gallon, (or cost per pound), (or BTU per pound) of the vegetable oil. Jet fuel is likely cheaper and absolutely well proven for the last 60 years. Among the dozens of airlines recently bankrupted and re-organized, don't expect any enthusiasm for an expensive and unproven fuel substitute.
ToddBaldwin3 1
Keep in mind, they're not burning vegetable oil. They burning fuel derived from vegetable oil.
Bruno Coimbra -2
2.3% IS INDEED an impressive quantity when you 1, consider how many (63,000+ Gallons) each Boeing 747-8 can hold and /or use. 2, its a TRIAL/Testing run so the effects of this vegetable based fuel could effectively be a contaminate to the 747's Engines, sensors, pumps and entire fuel system causing much worse fuel burn rates (making the benefits of a mix JET-A/Renewable fuel useless if its going to just need to burn more fuel per flight) and at worse since it hasn't been done before in any commercial "every day" during different conditions at different altitudes and weather/ temperatures there could be a catastrophic engine failure, multiple engine having to be shut down,, we literally dont know yet what happens what any amount added to JET-A fuel yet and its long term effects. Reduced Power / Performance would obviously also be a massive downfall even if its a slight reduction as each flight would have to leave with Less weight and/or cargo wasting valuable space making less money and still burning the same amount of fuel as a fulload flown with Only Jet-A might have. So yeah 2.3% the number itself does not sound like alot, but with the amount of fuel commercial / cargo airliners can carry, and over 1,000's of flights and Hours flying, it COULD be an INCREDIBLE savings AND HUGE benefit to the environment. I look at it this way to make it simpler and less confusing. I know the 4.6L Triton v8 engine in my truck runs fine on Regular 87 Grade Unleaded fuel and exactly what my mileage per gallon is going to be during different driving conditions (Driving on dry, clear pavement in 2 wheel drive, in a bad snow storm, Towing a full trailer, using 4x4, driving mostly uphill, and/or long highway driving Cruise control set on the same speed for 1,000's of miles across the country. I can calculate and plan all of that because the number have been the same for years and years and literally 1,000's and 1,000's of miles every month and over the years. BUT,, should i decide to invent, create or participate in some sort of "study" type deal of the effect of mixing in different amounts of Green/ Renewable fuel with the regular unleaded 87 Fuel that is normally used,, for 1, i have no idea how the engine and sensors are going to respond to even a small amount mixed in. so ideally i would start at a relatively small amount and assuming the first mixture at least seems to run ok over a few 1,00 miles and different driving conditions,,,and than raise, lower the percentage of how much of the mixture is going to be used many many different times over many many 1,000's more miles to be able to effectively "Graph" the original unleaded 87 Fuel ONLY, Compared to different percentages of the Mixed Fuel being used over different drives / trips to figure out if there is a benefit (AT ALL or even at different levels of mixtures tested), if there are any downsides or adverse effects. and at what point (if any) the "Max" benefit/fuel mix ratio might be. i DEFINITELY would NOT just up and switch from my regular PROVEN fuel type because i want to use Green / Renewable fuel, and start by mixing in 25-50% and just seeing what happens. maybe a little less could really be a benefit, maybe not,, but you got to start somewhere and starting at a lower mixtures followed by increasing the fuel mixtures little by little during testing conditions seems like the BEST possible idea/plan to not only find a "Perfect" point,,, but to avoid any sudden,,, Undesirable outcomes from mixing in a fuel into a complex engine, any engine (my truck or a 747-8's GEnx Jet Engine). So 2.3% not only seems like alot to me considering the total fuel being held / used in the4se aircraft but it seems like a number that was probably VERY VERY well planned and thought out,, and i have no doubt they will continue to run tests at that level of mixture as a "Base" and than see what happens which slightly higher or lower mixtures compared to the original Jet-A alone fuel, 2.3% Green / RenewaBLE mixture first tested, and than many many more testes of different mixture types and/or amounts to find the IDEAL Percentage that will not reduce performance or reliability, whilst at the same time Possibly MASSIVELY reducing emissions and waste in the future.
And when the ratio gets screwed up, and we have a big, smoking hole in the ground, what then? We're supposed to accept this because, "We're saving the environment" ??
Stupid waste of resources, period.
sparkie624 3
Where 2.3 would be a lot of Gallons... at the same time there is still a Big Ratio Gap... It would be kind of like breathing 99% O2 and 1% N2
Bruno Coimbra 1
So you don’t think a 2.3% mixture of 60,000+ Gallons would equal a surprisingly large amount? Especially considering it’s a FIRST Test Flight without knowing what the effects are going to be ?
sparkie624 2
It is a lot, but a very small ratio... Just do not think it is enough to make any difference
Bruno Coimbra -1
Would you bet your life on that,,, and get on a Transoceanic Flight with ZERO chance of making any land, with an almost full fuel load... 2.3% of which is knowingly “contaminated” and hasn’t been tested in those circumstances / conditions before ?
Greg S 1
Incorrect. You don't seem to understand what percentage means. It's 2.3% no matter how much fuel is used, and 2.3% is not significant no matter how much fuel is used.
Bruno Coimbra 2
I understand percentages just fine, maybe I typed it wrong or misspoke but you know what I meant. 2.3% on its own doesn’t sound like a lot,,, but when you consider that it’s 2.3% of 60,000+ Gallons,,, it’d actually quite a lot.
sparkie624 0
It is 1380 Gallons... but with 60000 You would not see much difference I would not think!
Bruno Coimbra 0
I get that 1,380 Gallons out of 60,000 doesn’t seem like a lot, but I’m betting if you were getting on a flight and we’re told that 1,380 Gallons of I don’t know, water or something else that isn’t good was being mixed into the 60,000 Gallon tanks for testing you would probably be A-little bit more worried during that flight than any “normal” one. The whole point is you have to start somewhere if anything is ever going to change for the better, and in a case like this with testing un-proven fuels,,, 2.3% is probably a well thought out Starting/ Base Line mixture that isn’t damaging to the aircraft systems and over the next few months and years, different mixture percentages can be tested raising and lowering different mixture amounts to create a table or “graph” of any aircraft performance/environmental impact data to find a perfect balance which MAY or MAY NOT be around a smaller mixture like the current 2.3% mixture OR it could be a 5x, 10x or higher mixture percentage that manages to keep the current aircraft and engine reliability and performance, while at the same time highly reducing environmental impacts and possibly cost/per flight..... I guess we will not no for a while until it’s been tested and proven if the program should continue.
Torsten Hoff 6
At 2.3% the biofuel seems to be on the level of a fuel contaminant.
mbrews 6
Agree with canuck44, - This and similar stunts are merely tokenism, their main purpose is Virtue Signalling. No meaningful change to fuel composition.
RECOR10 -1
Sir, as Depeche Mode said...Everything counts in large amounts. Plus, the word "Token" is hurtful, was that word not banned? Plus, I was just at a Lowes where they had dead tree's just stacked in piles......this must stop........
sparkie624 3
2.3% is not really a lot to say the least.

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