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Qantas Will Start Using Mustard Seeds to Fuel Its LA to Melbourne Flights

Starting next year, it'll be the first biofuel flight between Australia and the USA.
By Libby Curran
November 23, 2017
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Qantas Will Start Using Mustard Seeds to Fuel Its LA to Melbourne Flights

Starting next year, it'll be the first biofuel flight between Australia and the USA.
By Libby Curran
November 23, 2017
  shares

Imagine flying through the air on a plane fuelled by mustard seeds. It might sound somewhat futuristic, but it's Qantas' real-life plan for its Los Angeles to Melbourne Dreamliner route and it's set to happen as early as next year.

It'll mark the world's first biofuel flight between the USA and Australia, with the aircraft powered by an oil derived from an industrial kind of mustard seed, called Brassica Carinata.

Qantas has also teamed up with the seed's developers — Canada-based Agrisoma Biosciences — and will work with local farmers to have Australia's first commercial aviation biofuel seed crop grown by the year 2020. If the Australian program follows in the footsteps of large-scale overseas operations, it could see up to an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions. The plan is to soon be growing 400,000 hectares of carinata locally, which would equate to over 200 million litres of the bio jet fuel each year.

Not only would use of this kind of fuel see a hefty reduction in carbon emissions, current field trials in Queensland and South Australia have shown the crushed seed is a viable non-genetically modified food for livestock.

It's not the first time Qantas has dabbled in biofuel — back in 2012, the airline conducted trial flights between Sydney and Adelaide, and Melbourne and Hobart, using fuel derived from cooking oil.

Published on November 23, 2017 by Libby Curran

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