Quantas experiments with mustard seed biofuel on LA-Melbourne flight

Enlarge (credit: Quantas)

On Monday morning, a Quantas flight took off from Los Angeles International Airport burning 90-percent regular jet fuel and 10-percent mustard seed oil biofuel.

Though that may not seem like a lot, the biofuel is efficient enough that Quantas estimates a seven-percent reduction in emissions compared to a similar 15-hour flight using only traditional jet fuel.

That's important because aviation is a huge contributor of greenhouse gas emissions. Aircraft account for 12 percent of US transportation greenhouse gas emissions, and the International Civil Aviation Organization suggests carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by aircraft account for two percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions. Most of those emissions occur as the airplane is taking off or landing.

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