Qantas biofuel flight cuts the mustard

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The trans-Pacific flight lasted about 15 hours and used about 24,000kg of blended biofuel made with a type of inedible mustard seed called Brassica carinata, according to Qantas.

Professor Tan added that the mustard seed crop will solve the important issue of security of supply: "A lot of the biodiesel now being processed is actually from waste oil from places like fish and chip shops". The fuel was developed by Canadian agricultural technology company Agrisoma.

The flight is part of the partnership announced in 2017 which will also result in the company's work with Australian farmers to grow the country's first commercial aviation biofuel seed crop by 2020. The plant produces 35 million gallons per year of renewable fuels, including Honeywell Green Jet Fuel, using Honeywell's UOP Renewable Jet Fuel process, which produces fuels that are chemically identical to petroleum-based fuels. The 787 Dreamliner was a fitting choice for the biofuel, as that itself is more environmentally friendly than similar planes with lower emissions and higher fuel efficiency.

Carinita requires no specialised production or processing techniques. It is water-efficient and The University of Queensland field trials in Gatton, Queensland, and in Bordertown, South Australia, have demonstrated it should do very well in the Australian climate. As well, this mustard seed variety is a cover crop, meaning it can be planted on land between other food crop cycles. Rotational or break-crops can improve soil quality, reduce erosion for food crops and provide farmers with additional income.

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"Biojet fuel made from Carinata delivers both oil for biofuel and protein for animal nutrition while also enhancing the soil it's grown in".

Qantas will begin Boeing 787-9 flights between Brisbane and Los Angeles, and then from LAX to NY, in September with tickets expected to go on sale later today.

The carinata seeds yield high-quality oil considered ideal for aviation biofuel, with one hectare of seeds yielding up to 400 litres of biofuel.



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