Lofting a 500,000-kg jumbo jet into the flight levels on pond scum? Then how about jet fuel refined from an inedible coconut grown in the Brazilian rain forest? Or a previously useless weed that grows in arid regions of the world?
As the need to address global warming becomes more widely accepted, all these bio-sources--as well as more conventional ones like maize and sugarcane--are being studied by the aviation and energy industries as alternative sources for liquid hydrocarbons necessary to fuel gas-turbine engines. Spurring this research, as well, are the current escalation of fuel prices, especially in North America, and the widespread conviction that fossil-based oil reserves are declining.
Source: Aviation Week, http://aviationweek.com
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