Biofuel Industry News

  • Brazil has seen its first commercial flight using biofuel.

Brazil sees first flight on biofuel

Oct 29 2013 Comments 0

The aviation industry in Brazil has made a step towards sustainability as the country has seen its first flight completed on biofuel.

Gol airlines owns the first plane to make the flight, reporting that it occurred on October 23rd. The flight was timed to coincide with Day of the Aviator in Brazil, which celebrates the Brazilian pilot Santos Dumont who made his first flight on this day on a plane he built in France.

The Boeing aeroplane took off from Congonhas airport in Sao Paulo and flew to Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek Airport in Brasilia.

It used bio-kerosene to power the flight, which is thought to be able to cut carbon dioxide emissions by up to 80 per cent.

A spokesperson for Gol airlines, Joel Velasco, says that the company hopes to use the fuel on 200 routes when the 2014 world cup gets underway, carrying football fans from all over the planet.

Bio-kerosene can be made from one of Brazil's most widely produced commodities, sugar cane, which can be used to extract a type of chemical called farnesene. This chemical is used in a variety of products, from aviation fuel to cosmetics.

Additionally, Brazil has also been using some of its other natural resources to create biodiesel. This involves harvesting oil-filled seeds from a drought resistant plant known as jatropha, which can then be refined into diesel.

A consortium in Brazil, known as JETBIO, signed an agreement to plant more jatropha to be used to create biofuel. Some of the members of the consortium include Airbus, BP, TAM and the Inter-American Development Bank.

It is hoped that using bio-kerosene will lower the cost of aviation fuel, which, according to the Brazilian Airline Association, accounts for 43 per cent of the cost of airline fares in Brazil.

Airline companies also hope to cut the cost of their taxes when landing in countries such as Australia or member states within the European Union, where there are limits on the amount of emissions that can be produced and carbon taxes are in force.

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