Boeing and South African Airways Will Turn Hybrid Tobacco in Bio Fuel

Boeing and South African Airways have recently closed a partnership through which the two corporations will collaborate in making sustainable aviation biofuel from a new type of tobacco plant. Besides the obvious environmental advantage, the renewable jet fuel will also allegedly help South Africa’s goals for public heal, as well as economic and rural development.
Boeing and South African Airways Will Turn Hybrid Tobacco in Bio Fuel 1 photo
Photo: Edited by Autoevolution
Folks, this is the future. We all hear the climate change speech every two weeks or so and some of us really get sick of it. Meanwhile there are people out there who literally make history with their research in developing new ways for our present to remain as it is.

While auto makers struggle to make electric vehicles cool, and engineers design better and more efficient motors as we speak, transportation in the air remains an extremly busy industry. In fact, there are about 300,000 flights a day worldwide so it’s only normal for these huge aircraft manufacturing companies are looking for newer ways to fill their tanks.

Boeing, South African Airways and SkyNRG recently announced they will collaborate to make sustainable aviation biofuel from a new type of tobacco plant called Solaris. According to the press release, test farming of the plants, which are effectively nicotine-free, is underway in South Africa with biofuel production expected from large and small farms in the next few years.

Initially, oil from the plant’s seeds will be converted into jet fuel. In coming years, Boeing expects emerging technologies to increase South Africa’s aviation biofuel production form the rest of the plant. SkyNRG, the company producing the new tobacco plant, is expanding production as an energy crop that farmers grow instead of traditional tobacco.

50 to 80 percent less carbon emissions

We strongly believe in the potential of successfully rolling out Solaris in the Southern African region to power sustainable fuels that are also affordable,” said Maarten van Dijk, Chief Technology Officer at SkyNRG. According to the source, besides the main target of producing bio fuel that reduces carbon emissions by 50 to 80 percent compared to petroleum jet, the companies are trying to help the local economy.

Boeing and SAA are working with the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials, since last year, to position farmers with small plots of land to grow biofuel feedstocks that provide socioeconomic value to communities without harming food supplies, fresh water or land use. The American corporation claims it’s the aviation industry’s leader in the development of sustainable aviation biofuel, having already conducted more than 1,500 passenger flights using biofuel since the fuel was approved in 2011.

Only question left to ask is whether the chemicals from cigarettes that harm smokers and can even lead to their death will harm the air once consumed by airplanes or not.
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