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IN FOCUS: Getting in the spirit

Alaska Airlines biofuel powered engine, Alaska Airlines

 © Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines has conducted a flight-test programme with a 20% biofuel blend made from used cooking oil

Alcohol-based fuel may be an answer to calls for airlines to clean up their act, even if consensus on its potential has yet to be reached. Production costs, meanwhile, still hamper biofuels’ cause, but US carriers are embracing its use, and green hopes have been further stoked by new electric taxiing systems. Here we investigate all of these initiatives – and the ongoing debate on emissions trading.

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