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Old June 27th, 2008, 11:46 AM   #1
nomarandlee
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MISC | Biofuels Become Aviation's Big Focus

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/aviation/200...ptwVjlz5.s0NUE

Biofuels Become Aviation's Big Focus

Thu Jun 26, 6:46 PM ET

As concerns about global warming intensify throughout the world, aviation is receiving a disproportionate level of scrutiny for its contribution to total global production of greenhouse gases.

Even though aviation emits only about one-ninth as much carbon dioxide (CO2) as do motor vehicles, its high-visibility nature as an activity, its rapid growth as an industry and the fact that aviation emits most of its CO2 and particulate emissions in the upper atmosphere has made it a particular target for environmentalists.


Elizabeth Barratt-Brown, a senior attorney with the National Resources Defense Council, told last week's Eco-Aviation Conference in Washington, D.C. that in the United States, unless the industry achieves enormous efficiency increases, "by 2050 aviation emissions are expected to almost equal the amount from automobiles" because of aviation's growth. The event, sponsored by Air Transport World magazine and Leeham Company, was the first aviation environmental forum to be held in the United States.


Luckily for Earth, perhaps, the soaring price of oil has made the search for sustainable, CO2-neutral alternatives an immediate economic imperative as well as an environmentally critical focus for many human commercial activities - with aviation foremost among them. Economic experts are now viewing high oil prices as a long-term fact of life rather than a short-term blip, and say aviation in its present form simply can't live with the possibility of the price of a barrel of oil leveling at $200.

Research into fossil-fuel alternatives is snowballing. Eventually, a clean fuel such as hydrogen may be the answer for aviation - but the technologies that will allow it to be used safely and economically to power large aircraft are generally regarded as being 40 or more years away.

For aviation, it increasingly appears that biofuels - jet fuels made from plants or algae using any one of a variety of processes - represent by far the best medium-to-long-term hope for the economic and environmental survival of the industry. One of the main advantages of biofuels is that the plants used to make the fuels need lots of CO2 to grow, potentially making it possible for the aviation industry to achieve true carbon-neutrality.


"Boeing Commercial Airplanes and its partners are actively accelerating development of second-generation biofuels because they present an economically viable opportunity to sustainably power the world's commercial aircraft fleet," said Boeing in a recent briefing document entitled 'What is the future of jet fuel?'


Aviation's 'proven track record'


Aviation's "proven track record" in reducing its "carbon footprint" on a per-passenger basis already is excellent, with a 70 percent improvement in fuel-efficiency and CO2 emissions per passenger mile in the last 50 years, said Rolls-Royce senior environmental analyst Nuno Taborda.


"Aviation spends relatively more than any other industry on CO2 reduction," he said. Others noted that during the last 30 years, the U.S. automobile industry did not improve the fuel-efficiency and CO2 emissions of its products at all.


But civil aviation is only just starting. "The IATA (International Air Transport Association) goal is for a 25 percent emissions reduction per passenger by 2020," from an average of 4 kilograms of CO2 per 100 passenger kilometers to 3 kilograms, said Billy Glover, Boeing Commercial Airplanes' managing director of environmental strategy. In the U.S., "the Air Transport Association goal is for 30 percent by 2025." These goals do not include any positive effects from using sustainable biofuels which might be available by then, Glover added.


Various partnerships have been established to foster the development of alternative fuels and other ways to improve aviation's environmental efficiency. It is one area on which Airbus and Boeing cooperate willingly. One leading forum is the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), which includes partners from the aviation industry, fuel suppliers, universities, and various U.S. government agencies.


CAAFI has established a fuel-certification roadmap that envisages achieving certification of jet fuels made entirely from biomass-derived pure hydrogenated oils in 2013. CAAFI also has set several intermediate targets, beginning this year with the planned certification of a fuel made from a 50 percent blend of biomass-derived syngas and conventional jet fuel. (Syngas is a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen and is created from feedstock by the Fischer-Tropsch process, which was discovered in 1923. Syngas can be processed into jet fuels.)


Finding the right biofuel feedstock


Key to the entire aviation biofuel issue is just what type of biomass is most suitable for fuel production. Several vital issues must be taken into account. First is the density and energy content of the fuel: It must take up a sufficiently small space that it can be carried in an aircraft and, similarly, a given volume of the fuel must produce enough energy so that an aircraft can carry enough in its tanks to complete its flight.


Second is the "carbon lifecycle" of the biofuel: that is, the net amount of CO2 produced during production and burning of the fuel, less the amount the biomass feedstock for the fuel absorbs while growing.


Third is the amount of sulfur and other particulates produced. Fourth is the hugely sensitive political issue of making sure the land and biomass used to make biofuel does not reduce the amount of food available to humanity and the Earth's fauna.


These considerations immediately rule out "first-generation biofuels" such as ethanol produced from corn and soybeans. Not only does ethanol not contain enough energy per unit volume to be suitable as an aviation fuel, but growing enough corn or soybeans to power all the world's airliners would require an area just about the size of the United States, according to Boeing. Nor does ethanol have suitable boiling and freezing points for aviation use.

Second-generation biofuels

Experts believe "second-generation biofuels" derived from the wood and nuts of plants such as Jatropha curcas (Barbados Nut) and babassu, which grow strongly in arid areas unsuitable as arable land and which (in jatropha's case) are poisonous anyway, represent a good interim solution.

These Latin American plants, as well as other flora such as switchgrass and salt-water-tolerant plants known as halocytes (among them marsh grasses found in parts of the Middle East), could be grown for fuel production in non-arable areas suited to their particular growth requirements. Different parts of the world would grow different biofuel-producing plants, depending on their local climatic and soil conditions.

However, there is a problem: Although their oils offer much higher energy content and much better boiling/freezing-temperature characteristics than ethanol, these plants wouldn't yield enough oil per hectare to be able to serve the aviation industry's fuel requirements unless, again, very large areas were given over to their cultivation.

Algae a likely long-term answer

There is broad consensus throughout the industry that, longer-term, algae represent the optimum solution to aviation's fuel needs.
A number of basic problems need to be solved, such as ensuring enough light gets to every part of an algae tank to enable all the cells to grow properly; and drying algae cells sufficiently to enable the oil they contain to be extracted and cracked into jet fuel.

But Boeing and Airbus are confident these problems can be solved - and the benefits that algae offers as a "third-generation biofuel" are immense. Algae can produce an oil yield 15 times that of second-generation biofuel plants: The world's entire airliner fleet could be powered from a cultivated area just the size of West Virginia, or Belgium, says Boeing.

Additionally, because algae can be grown in tanks anywhere, biofuel-producing algae farms could be sited next to facilities producing jet fuel from coal or natural gas using the Fischer-Tropsch process. These "coal-to-liquid" or "gas-to-liquid" processes generate large amounts of CO2 from fossil fuels, making them unsuitable as sustainable fuel sources. However, if the CO2 they generate is piped off and used to grow algae in nearby farms, the two forms of fuel production together could create an efficient, carbon-neutral symbiosis for jet fuel production.

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Original Story: Biofuels Become Aviation's Big Focus
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Old November 13th, 2008, 04:28 PM   #2
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Air New Zealand to test biofuel next month

WELLINGTON, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Air New Zealand will make its first commercial flight using biofuels next month as it looks to cut fuel consumption and carbon emissions, the national carrier said on Wednesday.

The flight on Dec. 3 out of Auckland will use a 50:50 blend of standard jet fuel and a biofuel made from the jatropha plant in a Rolls Royce engine on a Boeing 747-400, the airline added.

"The blended fuel meets the essential requirement of being a 'drop-in' fuel, meaning its properties will be virtually indistinguishable from traditional Jet A1 fuel," said Air NZ's chief pilot, David Morgan, in a statement.

Jatropha is a plant that grows up to three metres and produces inedible nuts, which contain the oil. It is grown on arid and marginal land in Africa.

Air New Zealand told Reuters in June it hoped to use one million barrels of biofuel a year, about 10 percent of its fuel consumption, in its jet fleet by 2013.

Shares in Air NZ, about three-quarters owned by the New Zealand government, last traded steady at NZ$0.91, in an overall weaker market.

British-based Virgin Atlantic [VA.UL] used a bio-jet fuel blend made from babassu and coconut oils in a commercial flight in February. ($1=NZ$1.75)
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Old December 17th, 2008, 04:26 AM   #3
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Montana biodiesel crop to be tested on Japanese airliner
16 December 2008

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A Montana company says a Japanese commercial airliner will take a test flight next month using jet fuel derived from the crop camelina.

Camelina is a seed-oil crop being pursued by at least two companies in the Northern Plains as a potential source of alternative fuels.

Scott Johnson, manager of Sustainable Oils of Bozeman, says Japan Airlines will stage a one-hour flight using a jet fuel made from his company's camelina on January 30, in Tokyo.

Camelina companies have so far struggled to reach their ambitions of converting millions of acres of the region's farmland to the crop. Competition with high wheat prices has made it hard to attract farmers.

Sustainable Oils is a partnership between Targeted Growth of Seattle and Green Earth Fuels of Houston.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 09:23 AM   #4
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Poison shrub oil powers New Zealand airline flight

SYDNEY, Jan 1 (Reuters) - Oil from the seeds of a poisonous shrub helped power a New Zealand airliner in a test flight, at a time when airlines hit by high oil prices and pressured over the impact of planes on the environment seek greener fuels.

An Air New ZealandBoeing 747 flew for two hours on Dec. 30 with one of its four engines powered by a 50-50 mixture of jet fuel and jatropha oil, the airline said in a statement.

Jatropha is a plant that grows up to three metres and produces inedible fruits, which contain the oil. It is grown on arid and marginal land in India, parts of Africa and other countries, and has been touted for mass production for biofuels because it does not compete for resources with food crops.

Air New Zealand, which hopes to use one million barrels of biofuel a year, or about 10 percent of its fuel consumption, by 2013, said the flight was the world's first commercial aviation test flight powered by jatropha.

"It is Air New Zealands long-term goal to become the worlds most environmentally sustainable airline and we have today made further significant progress towards this," Chief Executive Rob Fyfe said in the statement.

The fuel mixture performed well in a range of tests, the airline said.

Other experts have warned that jatropha does not offer an easy answer to biofuels problems because it is toxic and yields are unreliable. It is also a labour-intensive crop as each fruit ripens at a different time and needs to be harvested separately.

British-based Virgin Atlantic used a bio-jet fuel blend made from babassu and coconut oils in a commercial flight in February.
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Old January 4th, 2009, 06:49 AM   #5
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World-First Biofuel Test Flight

It does seem Air New Zealand is leading the way at the moment, apart from a Virgin test flight last year. Air New Zealand has even set up a dedicated section of the website with links to more info and video. A good effort I think, and good on them for having a go at this alternative and renewable fuel. This may save the aviation industry from being so succeptable to crude oil problems. Here is the main page text on their website:

World-First Biofuel Test Flight
http://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/about...st/default.htm

Biofuel test flight date confirmed - Tuesday 30 December 2008

The world's first commercial aviation test flight powered by a sustainable second-generation biofuel will take place on Tuesday 30 December.

The Air New Zealand test flight is a joint initiative with partners Boeing, Rolls-Royce and Honeywell's UOP in commercial aviation's drive for more sustainable air travel for future generations.

The Air New Zealand Boeing 747-400, will have one of its four Rolls-Royce RB211 engines powered by a biofuel blend derived from a second generation biofuel plant - Jatropha Curcas.

Jatropha is a plant that produces seeds that contain inedible lipid oil that is used to produce fuel. Each seed produces 30-40% of its mass in oil and jatropha can be grown in a range of difficult conditions, including arid and otherwise non-arable areas, leaving prime areas available for food crops.

Air New Zealand and its partners have been non-negotiable about the three criteria any environmentally sustainable fuel must meet for the test flight programme. These are social, technical and commercial.

Firstly, the fuel source must be environmentally sustainable and not compete with existing food resources. Secondly, the fuel must be a drop-in replacement for traditional jet fuel and technically be at least as good as the product used today. Finally, it should be cost competitive with existing fuel supplies and be readily available.

The criteria for sourcing the jatropha oil required that the land was neither forest land nor virgin grassland within the previous two decades. The quality of the soil and climate is such that the land is not suitable for the vast majority of food crops. Furthermore, the farms are rain-fed and not mechanically irrigated.

The test flight partners engaged Terasol Energy, a leader in sustainable jatropha development projects, to independently source and certify that the jatropha-based fuel for the flight met all sustainability criteria.

Once received from Terasol Energy, the jatropha oil was refined through a collaborative effort between Air New Zealand, Boeing and leading refining technology developer UOP, utilising UOP technology to produce jet fuel from renewable sources that can serve as a direct replacement to traditional petroleum-based fuel.

------------------------------------

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Old January 4th, 2009, 06:54 AM   #6
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Here is an earlier article about the Virgin test flight for reference:

Biofuel-powered jet makes test flight
EcoSolutions: February 24, 2008 -- Updated 1651 GMT (0051 HKT)
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/BUSINESS...els/index.html

Story Highlights
  • First biofuel-powered commercial aircraft flies from London to Amsterdam
  • Virgin Atlantic test flight hailed as a step towards "cleaner flying"
  • Environmental campaigners have reservations about impact of biofuel production

LONDON, England (CNN) -- The world's first biofuel-powered commercial aircraft touched down in Amsterdam on Sunday following a demonstration flight from London's Heathrow Airport hailed as a first step towards "cleaner" flying.

The Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 flight was part of a joint initiative with planemaker Boeing and engine manufacturer GE Aviation to develop a "sustainable aircraft fuel." No passengers were onboard.

Virgin Atlantic President Richard Branson said the test flight would help the airline to use clean fuel sooner than expected.

"The demonstration flight will give us crucial knowledge that we can use to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint," Branson said in a statement.

"Virgin Group pledged to invest all its profits from its transportation companies towards developing clean energy and with this breakthrough we are well down the path to achieving our goals."

Virgin said the fuel to be used for Sunday's flight -- a 20 percent biofuel mix of coconut and babassu oil in one of the plane's four main fuel tanks -- was of a type that wouldn't compete with food and fresh water resources amid mounting concerns among green campaigners about the environmental impact of biofuels.

Some studies suggest that converting land for crops such as palm oil used for biofuel can generate far more in carbon emissions than the savings delivered by the fuel.

Increased use of biofuels could also prompt food shortages, campaigners warn, as greater areas of farmland are turned over to biofuel production.

Kenneth Richter, Friends of the Earth aviation campaigner, said: "Biofuels are a major distraction in the fight against climate change. There is mounting evidence that the carbon savings from biofuels are negligible.

"If Virgin was really serious about reducing the aviation industry's impact on the environment it would support calls for aircraft emissions to be included in the (UK government's) Climate Change Bill."

---------------------------------------

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Old January 6th, 2009, 10:37 AM   #7
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JAL planning test flight using biofuel
5 January 2009
Nikkei Weekly

Japan Airlines Corp. will collaborate with Boeing Co. and aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney - both of the U.S. - to develop a biofuel usable as jet fuel.

The first test flight will be conducted Jan. 30 using a JAL-owned Boeing plane equipped with P&W engines. One of these engines will burn a 50-50 mixture of regular jet fuel and biofuel. The biofuel will consist mainly of seed oil from the camelina plant, with 15% seed oil from the jatropha plant and 1% algae oil.

The test flight will last around an hour, and data will be collected and analyzed to determine the extent to which measures like this can reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

(The Nikkei Weekly 12/29/2008 Edition)
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Old January 8th, 2009, 09:26 AM   #8
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Continental becomes first US carrier to make demo flight powered partially with biofuel
7 January 2009

HOUSTON (AP) - Continental Airlines on Wednesday became the first U.S. commercial carrier to conduct a demonstration flight powered in part by alternative fuels, though large-scale use of such fuel is forecast to be several years away.

The Houston-based company, the nation's fourth-largest airline, made the flight with a Boeing 737-800 that left from Bush Intercontinental Airport, its large hub. The flight took about 1 hour, 45 minutes and had no passengers.

Continental chairman and chief executive Larry Kellner said the goal was to analyze technical aspects of using biofuels, including effects on the plane's mechanical systems. In this case, the alternative fuel was derived from algae and jatropha plants and used in only one of the plane's two engines.

Kellner and others acknowledged it will likely be several years, a decade perhaps, before biofuels make up a significant percentage of the fuel used by Continental and other major carriers. At present, adequate supplies -- and the facilities to make them -- simply aren't available.

"The challenge will be to produce it in an efficient way in the quantities we need," Kellner said.

Airlines have been experimenting with alternative fuels as a way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and lower fuel bills, which hammered carriers in the first part of 2008 when oil prices spiked.

Last week, Air New Zealand tested a passenger jet powered partially with oil from jatropha, a bush with round, plum-like fruit that's found in parts of South America, Africa and Asia. Seeds from jatropha are crushed to produce a yellowish oil that's refined and mixed with diesel.

Continental said its flight was the first to use algae as a fuel source, and the first test involving a two-engine aircraft. One engine ran on a mixture of one-half biofuel and one-half traditional jet fuel. The other ran solely on jet fuel.

The biofuel exceeded specifications for regular jet fuel, and no modifications to the plane or its engines were needed.

Jatropha and algae are both considered sustainable, second-generation biofuels, which typically use a wider range of plants and release fewer emissions than traditional biofuels like ethanol. Other possible sources include switch grass and salt-tolerant plants called halophytes.

Wednesday's flight was a joint effort involving Continental, airplane maker Boeing Co., engine makers GE Aviation/CFM International and biofuel specialist UOP, a unit of Honeywell International Inc.

Jennifer Holmgren, general manager of renewable energy and chemicals at UOP, said one of the big obstacles facing the industry is finding enough affordable feedstock to produce the large quantities of biofuel needed.

Still, as production ramps up in the next few years, she predicts biofuel could amount to 3 percent to 5 percent of the fuel used by big airlines by 2012. By 2020, the level could grow to as much as 20 percent, she said.

For now, "the only bottleneck is not just having the facilities to produce it," Holmgren said. "There isn't enough sustainable feedstock at the right price point to able to be competitive with petroleum."
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Old January 13th, 2009, 12:34 PM   #9
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similar coverage

Quote:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...,1220319.story

Biofuel from algae, weeds helps to power Boeing 737 jet in test flight
Continental flies Boeing 737 to test biofuel derived from algae and weeds; experts say reliability is years away

By Peter Pae | Tribune Newspapers
January 12, 2009

Continental Airlines ratcheted up the race to develop alternative fuel for passenger planes last week after it successfully flew a Boeing 737 twin-engine jet powered partly by algae and weeds.

The two-hour test flight Wednesday over Houston, where the carrier has its headquarters, involved powering one of the two engines with a mix of 50 percent kerosene and a blend of fuel derived from algae and jatropha, a weed that bears oil-producing seeds. No passengers were on board.

The demonstration was the first of its kind by a U.S. carrier. It marked the latest effort by an airline to test a new generation of sustainable biofuels that would help airlines cut fuel costs and carbon emissions.

In late December, Air New Zealand became the world's first airline to fly a plane powered partly by jatropha-based fuel. Later this month, Japan Airlines is planning a test flight using fuel refined from camelina, a flowering weed.

"It's another major step forward," said Billy Glover, managing director of environmental strategy for Chicago-based Boeing Co., which has been working with the airlines and jet engine-makers to develop biofuel for passenger planes.

With the latest milestone, a regularly scheduled passenger flight could be powered by biofuel in three years, pending further tests and Federal Aviation Administration certification, Glover said. "We've been pleasantly surprised by how smoothly these tests are going."

Airlines began looking seriously at finding new fuel sources as oil prices skyrocketed last year and led several carriers to file for bankruptcy. Despite oil prices' sharp slump since then, industry officials said airlines did not want to be burned again by being too dependent on a single source of fuel.

Algae and jatropha are among the more promising biofuel sources because they don't compete with food production or contribute to deforestation, industry officials said. But airline officials and jetmakers cautioned that although tests so far have been promising, it could take a decade or longer before biofuels become a significant source of fuel for airlines.

Air New Zealand, which has been particularly ambitious in developing alternative fuels, hopes to use biofuel for 10 percent of its needs by 2013.

Continental's test flight was considered risky because it involved a plane with two engines instead of four. The test flight included powering the right engine with the biofuel mix, turning it off and on, and abruptly accelerating and slowing the plane.

Continental and its partners in the project—Boeing, enginemaker CFM International and a Honeywell Co. refining subsidiary—will analyze post-flight data to see whether biofuel can be a suitable substitute for traditional fossil fuel.

Los Angeles Times
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Old January 14th, 2009, 10:32 AM   #10
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if these bio fuels are derived from plants, doesnt it mean that there will be more deforestation and food prices may go up?
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Old January 15th, 2009, 06:13 PM   #11
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Transport can help propel world to greener future -UN

TOKYO, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Shipping, airlines and road transport need to clean up their emissions and help drive governments towards policies to fight global warming, a top U.N. official said on Thursday.

The transport sector accounts for more than 20 percent of mankind's carbon dioxide emissions, and further growth is likely given rising demand for cars, goods and travel in developing countries.

Transport will also be a key part of a broader U.N. climate pact about 190 nations will try to agree on at the end of the year during talks on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

"There can be no doubt that the transport sector will come under intense pressure and needs to dramatically change direction," Yvo de Boer, head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, told a global transport ministerial gathering in Tokyo on Thursday.

"Transport industries should no longer find themselves in the position of beggars for billions of taxpayer's dollars. Instead, they need to come back into pole position of drivers of economic growth, through the production of smart and efficient cars, trains, ships and planes," he said in a speech.

"The transport sector is at a juncture," he said, adding the key question was how the industry could influence regulators to back greener policies "rather than digging itself deeper into a hole" as airlines, shippers and car makers battled shrinking revenue because of the global financial crisis.

Transport ministers from 21 major countries are holding a three-day meeting in Tokyo until Friday. They account to about 70 percent of CO2 emissions of the global transport sector, according to Japan's transport ministry.

China, believed to be now the world's top greenhouse gas polluter, pulled out at the last minute, insisting rich nations lead the charge in emissions cuts, a Japanese transport ministry official told reporters.

BROAD MESSAGE

De Boer said he expected only a broad political message to come out of the talks on how the transport sector was tackling climate change.

"It's early in the debate for a number of countries to commit to a statement," he told Reuters earlier.

Airlines contribute about two percent of global CO2 emissions by mankind and are expected to keep rising because of growing demand for air travel, despite aircraft becoming more efficient.

Shipping's share of global emissions is about 3 percent, equivalent to total industrial emissions from Germany, but the industry is trying to trim fuel use through better hull designs, cleaner fuels and simple measures such as installing more efficient lighting onboard.

In addition, separate meetings under a U.N. body aiming to report to the climate meeting at year's end in Copenhagen will look into greater fuel efficiency and emissions trading for shipping.

De Boer said countries attending the gathering were already taking actions to limit transport emissions, not only to address climate change, but also costs, public health and energy security.

"I'm struck by the fact this meeting of transport ministers universally recognises their sector needs to be a part of the solution to climate change not a part of the problem of climate change," he said.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 01:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amuse2000 View Post
if these bio fuels are derived from plants, doesnt it mean that there will be more deforestation and food prices may go up?
From what I know I don't think sow. But really I don't know everything of the theme. If someone who knows answers me this!!
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Old January 16th, 2009, 03:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ PLAZA View Post
From what I know I don't think sow. But really I don't know everything of the theme. If someone who knows answers me this!!
I believe part of the blame for food prices increasing in 2008 was due to the shift in focus to biofuels, but deforestation doesn't necessarily have to rise from more prominent use of biofuels. Farmers can just switch their crop sales to biofuel producers than food producers depending on the market prices.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 11:31 AM   #14
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But if farmers switch to biofuel then the food production has to move elsewhere. Look at Brazil's ethanol industry. Isn't that driving food producing farms ever further into the wilderness as more land is required for ethanol production in the Southeast? It would seem pretty logical to me that should there be a major switch to biofuel then we will need to expand the land use for agriculture in turn.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 12:57 PM   #15
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I think it is totally as you said, and thats why using biofuel is more or less an act of self cheating. Means we go on damaging the environment in the same way we did before, but from now on with a better conscience.

- Biofuel production is in direct concurrency to food production, what means as long as anyone on this world dies from hunger, it is perverse to fill what this man could eat in my car instead.

- An increase of agriculturally used areas in most countries results to a decrease of wilderness, especially a decrease of rain forests, what means the real effect of the biofuel boom is not positive, but negative for our climate.


Biofuel in general can not become a real solution, and more biofuel for planes just means less biofuel for cars. We will never be ablo to provide enough biofuel for every purpose, so for every plane using biofuel some thousand cars will have to use classic fuel instead.
All these "improvement" are nothing more than clever marketing, and in terms of "saving our planet from global warming" a waste of time.


As long as mankind is not able to provide sufficient amounts of real green energy, by using the sun, wind, water, geothermal power or anything like that, every use of energy causes damage to our climate.

The only solution that I see for aviation lies in a far future, and menas using hydrogen or any kind of synthetical fuel that has been produced by using green energy. But as long as we have to burn coal, oil and gas to keep our world running (and our politicians seem to do their best to keep things going on like this), the only possible improvements are those in terms of efficiency.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 05:46 PM   #16
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I thought rainforest soil quality is not suitable for agriculture, but rather grazing?
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Old January 16th, 2009, 06:56 PM   #17
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I think much of the emphasis is on algae based bio-fuel, not necessarily a substance that is likely take up prime forest or farm land.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 07:13 PM   #18
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Part of a much larger article about the future of flying and various green technologies. It's a pretty interesting article, I recommend fully reading it...........

Quote:
http://www.concierge.com/cntraveler/articles/500075

The Radical Future of Flying: Are You Ready?

by Clive Irving | Published November 2008 |

...........There are three distinct goals being sought under the generality of alternative fuels: to find an abundant energy source outside the grip of OPEC; to be able to produce the fuel cheaply; and to combine those two virtues with a fuel that, when it burns up in an airplane engine, leaves behind a lot less CO2 (or none). Managing this trick would be the equivalent of alchemy. As he talked and gave me a PowerPoint slide show, Daggett began to sound like a proto-alchemist. He has become a great enthusiast for an energy source that can be widely found and that flourishes, in fact, in any city's sewage treatment plant: algae.

Algae comes in many varieties, but basically it's a primitive and prolific organism that, given the right conditions, works like a microscopic oil well, absorbing energy through light (photosynthesis) and storing it in the form of a crude oil. Up to 50 or 60 percent of an algae plant's weight is oil. Algae breeds well in shallow pools like those at sewage plants. Alas, you can't just skim off the algae20from a waste-treatment pool, squeeze the oil out of it, and pump it into an aircraft engine. It has to be refined, and that means building from scratch an entirely new infrastructure to farm, process, refine, and supply oil from algae. Until OPEC oil soared through the $100-a-barrel mark, the costs of developing such infrastructure were problematic. No longer. Not only would algae oil be cheaper, but, unlike other alternative fuels, it burns efficiently at the extremely low temperatures where jets cruise in the stratosphere.

It also comes with a huge bonus: The CO2 emissions from a jet using it would be up to a staggering 80 percent less.
One of Daggett's favorite slides compares the area of land required to produce enough soybeans to provide the biofuel for the world's airline fleet with the acreage (in the form of breeding lakes) needed to achieve the same quantity from algae. The first is as big as the whole of Europe, the second the size of Belgium. There are already concerns that an early favorite of biofuel enthusiasts, ethanol, consumes more energy in the growing of corn (and sends up food prices as corn demand soars) than is justified by the results, so algae, in the relative modesty of its social impact, scores again.Having gotten my attention, Daggett has to draw a veil over just exactly how this alchemy would be achieved. Two stages of it,20the extraction of the oil and the refining, will be proprietary secrets held by those who pioneer the process. A realistic estimate for when you could be flying a jet gassed up from algae is 15 to 20 years.

Daggett himself, however, isn't waiting that long to set an example. "I started out as a skeptic on biofuels," he says. "I had to prove it myself. The best way of learning about something is to do it. I'd heard of people making bio-diesel for their cars, so I tried it."He showed me a photograph of himself in his garage in a Seattle suburb, with one of his family's two cars, standing by a rig of three vessels (each about the size of a large trash bin), together with assorted pipes, pumps, filters, and wires. At one end, he pours in used vegetable oil from a local Japanese restaurant. ("The car might smell of teriyaki," he jokes.) Out the other end comes the Daggett brand of bio-diesel. It costs him about 35 cents a gallon. "We're off the oil habit," he says.Finding and releasing the talents of a guy like Daggett tends to be difficult in a company as big and stratified as Boeing.

The fact that it has happened at all reinforces the feeling I have that a war mentality is indeed at work and forcing the pace. In such a pressure cooker, hierarchies are subverted. Mavericks are given large sums of money and licensed to disregard conventional thinking. Results are wanted in a hurry. This war is not bloody, but it's global and intensely competitive, and—here is the real lubricant—whoever comes up with solutions will create huge new cash cows..............
..
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Old January 30th, 2009, 05:56 PM   #19
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Japan airline in world first 'camelina' biofuel test flight
30 January 2009
Agence France Presse

Japan Airlines (JAL) on Friday carried out the world's first successful test flight of a Boeing aeroplane run on biofuel made primarily of a non-food energy crop called camelina.

In a joint project with the United States' Boeing and engine maker Pratt and Whitney, JAL -- Asia's largest carrier -- conducted a demonstration flight of about 90 minutes.

One engine on the Boeing 747-300 aircraft, which took off from Tokyo's Haneda airport, was powered by biofuel mixed with conventional kerosene jet oil, the company said.

"No modifications to the aircraft or engine were required for biofuel," JAL said in a statement.

"Today is an extremely important day for Japan Airlines, for aviation, and for the environment," said JAL president Haruka Nishimatsu. "The demonstration flight brings us ever closer to finding a greener alternative to traditional petroleum-based fuel."

"When biofuels are produced in sufficient amounts to make them commercially viable, we hope to be one of the first airlines in the world to start powering our aircraft using them," he said.

The biofuel used in the flight is "a mixture of three second-generation biofuel feedstocks" of camelina, jatropha and algae, the airline said.

"Second-generation feedstocks do not compete with natural food or water resources and do not contribute to deforestation practices," the company said.

The JAL flight was Boeing's fourth project using biofuel.
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Old February 8th, 2009, 08:24 AM   #20
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I guess this could fall under this thread. Unusual but fascinating I think.......


Quote:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/...4.4N8rniYPLBIF


Your Breath Could Be Recycled into Fuel


Lori Brown
LiveScience.com lori Brown


livescience.com – Thu Feb 5, 5:20 pm ET

The Liverpool John Lennon Airport, in Liverpool, U.K., will soon become the world's first to try a revolutionary piece of technology that will recycle the breath of passengers into biofuel.

The Eco-box, developed by Origo Industries, will capture the CO2 exhaled by airport travelers and convert it to fuel to be used in the airport's diesel vehicles and heating system.

The Eco-box was originally designed to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles. It works by capturing carbon emissions through a photo-bioreactor as a feedstock for algae, producing biomass that is then refined and converted to green fuel.

"The project at the airpor t is an early trial of a system which we believe could have a significant impact on the way companies today can obtain fuel and manage carbon emissions," said Iain Houston, Origo's CEO and founder.
Installation of the carbon recycling system began in January, with a goal of harnessing 24,000 gallons of fuel from the pilot program, as well as providing heating and hot water to the airport. The company hopes to expand to a 289,000 gallon system following the trial, providing approximately 800 gallons of biofuel each day.

Origo Industries, which aims to revolutionize industries in response to the challenge of climate change, may also look into using the technology to produce aviation grade biofuel in the future, a hot topic in the aviation industry as of late. The full cost of the trial was not disclosed, but Origo indicated the project would likely deliver a return on investment within one year's time.
..
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