In one of the most aggressive statements I've seen so far on the potential use of biofuels by carriers, Air New Zealand is aiming for 10% of its "total annual needs coming from environmentally sustainable fuels by 2013".
It is predicting it will use one million barrels of such fuel annually by 2013.
Air New Zealand is one of the latest carriers to announce flight tests of jet fuel-biofuel mixtures. A Rolls-Royce powered Boeing 747-400 test flight is expected to take place in Auckland in the last quarter of this year subject to final regulatory approvals and fuel testing by the engine manufacturer.
It says it will be the world's first flight test on a large passenger aircraft using fuel sourced from the plant jatropha.
Jatropha is a plant that grows to approximately three meters high and produces seeds that contain an inedible lipid oil that is used to produce fuel, explains ANZ. Each seed produces between 30 and 40 percent of its mass in oil and jatropha can be grown in range of difficult conditions, including arid and non-arable areas.
We have had some interesting Feedback articles on biofuels in recent issues.