United Airlines to use aviation fuel made from farm waste and animal fat

United airlines biofuels powered flightThis summer a United Airlines flight from LA to San Francisco will take off with fuel containing a mix of animal fats and farm waste, in what will be the first time a domestic airline has run a regular passenger flight using an alternative jet fuel.

The airline has also just announced that it is to make a $30 million investment in one of the largest producers of aviation biofuels, Fulcrum BioEnergy. Commenting to the New York Times, Debbie Hammel, a senior resource specialist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), who focuses on biofuel, said: “There is a significant role for biofuels within the aviation sector, specifically for reducing carbon emissions.”

In Brief
  • Fulcrum has developed a way of converting municipal waste into aviation fuel that it says can cut an airline’s carbon emissions by 80 percent compared with traditional jet fuel.
  • Fulcrum says it can produce its biofuel for considerably cheaper than $1 a gallon. United has said that its deal with Fulcrum is competitive with the price of traditional jet fuel.
  • In 2014, United’s fleet consumed 3.9 billion gallons of fuel.
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Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smithhttp://www.jmcsmith.com
Jeremy Smith is the editor and co-founder of Travindy. He is a writer and communications consultant working for a more responsible and sustainable tourism industry. He is the author of two books, writes a fortnightly blog on responsible tourism for World Travel Market, and provides consultancy to a wide range of companies and organisations, ranging from National Parks to individual hotels and tour operators.

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