Boeing Searches for Sustainable Fuel, Finds Green Diesel

By Jeremy Del Nero on 14 January 2014
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A 787 Dreamliner

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Airlines and aircraft manufacturers have long been on the lookout for more sustainable fuel options for powering commercial aircraft.

Boeing recently expressed interest in using a renewable biofuel called green diesel, which can be used in any diesel engine, as a sustainable alternative to jet fuel.

Green diesel, which is currently used in ground transportation, would emit 50% less carbon emissions over its lifetime.  The fuel is a blend of oils and fats that Boeing scientists found is chemically similar enough to aviation biofuel that it could potentially be blended and used with traditional jet fuel.

Boeing is collaborating with the FAA for approval to use green diesel to power aircraft, and has been working closely with 27 airlines in the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group to research sustainable biofuel.

Refineries in Europe, the U.S., and Singapore already have the capacity to produce approximately 600 million gallons of green diesel, which is up to 1% of global jet fuel demand.  At $3 a gallon after incentives, the wholesale cost would be competitive with petroleum-based jet fuels.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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