Last week, Alaska Airlines began a series of cross-country flights from Seattle to Washington, D.C. using a biofuel blend that is can be comprised of used fryer oil, chicken fat, algal oil or parts of inedible plants. The 80/20 blend of jet fuel and biofuel will carry 75 flights on the trans-continental trek.
The fuel is being supplied by Dynamic Fuels, which counts Tyson Foods as a partner, providing chicken fat and beef tallow from their processing plants. Alaska Airlines will use the fuel on a daily Boeing 737 flight that covers the Seattle to D.C. route, as well as on three daily Q400 turboprop flights that go from Seattle to Portland.
The biofuel is chemically identical to jet fuel, which means the flights could actually run completely on the alternative fuel and not be blended, but right now the cost is prohibitive. The biofuel blend that Alaska Airlines is using cost it $17/gallon compared to $3/gallon for traditional jet fuel. But the expectation is that as production of biofuels like these increase, the prices will steeply drop.
via NY Times
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