Biotech Updates

Qantas Completes First US-Australia Biofuel Flight

January 31, 2018

Qantas made the world's first dedicated biofuel flight between the United States and Australia. Qantas QF96 flew from Los Angeles to Melbourne over the weekend. The 15-hour trans-Pacific flight operated with approximately 24,000 kg of 10% biofuel blend, saving 18,000 kg in carbon emissions.

Fuel for the flight was produced from Brassica carinata, a non-edible industrial mustard seed, by AltAir Paramount LLC using Honeywell UOP's Renewable Jet Fuel process technology. The seeds were developed by Agrisoma Biosciences. Qantas established a partnership with Agrisoma to promote Carinata as a crop for Australian farmers, specifically as a renewable feedstock for making commercial aviation biofuel.

Using carinata-derived biofuel can reduce carbon emissions by eighty percent compared to traditional jet fuel. The ten percent biofuel blend used on the flight will therefore see a seven percent reduction in emissions on this route compared to normal operations.