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Algae Going to Make Airplanes Fly in Future

June 18th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in Algae-Aviation-Fuel

As there has been a constant increase in the price of oil and aviation fuels, the need of the hour is to find a suitable cheap alternative. It’s obvious, algae biofuel is the best choice. Algae biofuels meet the strict jet fuel regulations. Boeing has tested algae fuels in its aircraftsand found it to be successful.


According to Michael Hurd, director of environmental strategy for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, algae as aviation fuels have exceeded their expectations and that they don’t even have to make any amendments in their existing airplanes for using algae fuels.


Boeing officials are confident that the biofuel will be approved for commercial use by the end of this year, and production will ramp up enough in three to five years that it won’t even be a novelty anymore. Currently the algal fuel price is $4 to $5 a gallon, about the same as regular oil, but scientists predict that when there’s a dramatic increase in production, the price will drop to $2.


Who knows? Algae may even fuel our cars soon. According to Richard Sayre, algae fuel researcher at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and the chief technology officer of Phycal, an algae-fuel focused biotech company, algae fuels meet all the standards for gasoline, jet fuel and diesel. Even though algae fuel is a potential candidate for use in air planes, it will comprise only half of the aviation fuel mixture, the remaining half being the conventional fuel.


In contrast, a study conducted in MIT, has shown that that fossil fuels might actually be greener than the new biofuels. James Hileman, principal research engineer in the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, has the view that technologies that look very promising could also result in high emissions, if done improperly and these processes require energy and that ends up in the release of carbon dioxide.


Let’s wait and watch what difference algae fuels are going to make!



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