Qantas completes first trans-Pacific biofuels flight

The first biofuel powered flight from the US to Australia has been completed.

Qantas announced last year that biofuels would be used on its QF96 route from Los Angeles to Melbourne. On 29 January, the first flight to be fuelled by biofuels departed from LAX.

According to a statement, the 15 hour, trans-Pacific flight operated with approximately 24,000kg of blended biofuel, saving 18,000kg in greenhouse gas emissions. The biofuel was produced from Brassica Carinata, ‘a non-food, industrial type of mustard seed, developed by Canadian company Agrisoma Biosciences.

Agrisoma and Qantas recently signed what they claim to be the world’s first ‘farm-to-flight’ deal, which will see farmers in Australia growing a Canadian oilseed to make bio jet fuel by 2020.

A Dreamliner 787-9 was used for the flight, fuelled by a ten percent biofuel blend.

“The Qantas Dreamliner marks an exciting new era of innovation and travel. The aircraft is more fuel efficient and generates fewer greenhouse emissions than similarly sized-aircraft and today’s flight will see a further reduction on this route,” said Qantas International CEO Alison Webster.

“Our partnership with Agrisoma marks a big step in the development of a renewable jetfuel industry in Australia – it is a project we are really proud to be part of as we look at ways to reduce carbon emissions across our operations.”

Agrisoma CEO, Steve Fabijanski, said biofuel produced from Carinata provides wide ranging benefits.

“Biojet fuel made from Carinata delivers both oil for biofuel and protein for animal nutrition while also enhancing the soil its grown in.

“We are excited about the potential of the crop in Australia and look forward to working with local farmers and Qantas to develop a clean energy source for the local aviation industry.”

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