Qantas Airways completed the first bio-fuelled flight from the US to Australia on January 29, 2018, using a blended biofuel with mustard seeds
Qantas Airways completed the first bio-fuelled flight from the US to Australia on January 29, 2018, using a blended biofuel with mustard seeds.
The Boeing 787 aircraft used 24,000kg of biofuels to make the 15-hour flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne, reducing carbon emissions by 7%.
The Australian airline achieved the innovative first by using a blended biofuel, 10% of which was an emissions-free fuel made from an industrial type of mustard called brassica carinata.
This particular seed is usually known as a fallow crop which farmers can cultivate between their regular crop cycles as an alternative for when the soil needs rest.
The mustard seeds can be grown every second or third year in between wheat crops, then pressed, and the oil used locally or exported for use in aviation fuel.
The crop doesn’t need much water and is already familiar to the agriculture industry, which may solve the current issue of security of supply for biodiesel production.
The process of using mustard seeds to make biofuels was developed by Agrisoma Biosciences, which is expected to partner with Qantas to establish a bio-refinery in Australia and so take full advantage of the crop potential.
In 2017, Qantas announced that from 2020 all its Los Angeles-based flights would be powered by biofuels, after reaching a deal with US-based bio-energy company SG Preston.