Jorge Chapa

TRANSPORTATION TUESDAY: World's First Biodiesel Jet!

by , 10/16/07

Biodiesel Jet, L-29, Green Air Travel, Green Aircraft, Sustainable Air Travel, Biodiesel Solutions, L-29 military aircraft, Biodiesel Air Travel, Green Flight International,

Air travel is getting greener- first the EcoJet and Dreamliner lower-emissions aircrafts hit the scene, and now with a ground-breaking development from Green Flight International, biodiesel has succesfully been tested for jet usage. Developed by Biodiesel Solutions and tested on an L-29 military aircraft just last week, biofuel may just be the next sustainable frontier in the challenge to travel more eco-responsibly.

On October 5, The Biojet I, an Aero L-29 Delfin aircraft, took off from the Reno-Stead Airport and flew to an altitude of 17,000 feet. While the first tests were done with a mixture of Biodiesel and regular jet fuel, the last flight was done entirely on 100% renewable biodiesel fuel. According to the pilot, there was no reduction in performance compared to conventional jetfuel. Granted, the L-29 is a rather unique aircraft. Originally built during the 1960′s and better known as Czechoslovakia’s first locally designed and built jet aircraft, the plane is rated to fly on several types of fuel which makes it an excellent choice for testing biofuels. It will be interesting to see if this test can be translated to other plane models.

Are biodiesel fuels the future for airplane flights? “This test program between Green Flight International and Biodiesel Solutions was a unique and exciting opportunity to show what can be done in renewable fuels.” said Rudi Wiedemann, president of Biodiesel Solutions. “The very idea of using 100% biodiesel to fly a jet aircraft makes a compelling statement about the possibilities for the future of renewable energy and a healthier planet.”

+ World’s first jet flight powered entirely on renewable biodiesel fuel

Via PSFK

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24 Comments

  1. FillmoreFuels March 8, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    It is funny how some people keep complaining about how bio-diesel is not the answer and do nothing about the problems we face, probably the same people complaining about the price of fuel and driving around in there SUV’s.

    Bio-diesel is part of the answer/solution and it does have its place in the markets. Some people under estimate it’s potential, yet, many smart business people are investing millions into the industry. I suppose when people are driving around in there affordable 200 +MPG diesel cars that can run on many different fuels including bio-diesel, these people might finally catch on and buy one!

    For those of you out there who want to do something about the price of the fuel you are paying or just want to get involved visit http://www.FillmoreFuels.com

    Part of the solution to the environment and energy industry is to use less energy! This can be done with diesel – not the disposable car concepts of electric vehicles and hybrid technology! Second is for people to start decentralizing the energy industry. Stop buying petroleum fuel and sucking up the coal burning electricity from power companies on the grid. Last but not least , stop being ignorant about some of the BS science being pushed for political reasons. When you can not buy a Smart Car ForTwo CDi (diesel 70 +MPG) because of emissions in the US, but I can buy a Ford Powerstrock (diesel that gets less then 20 MPG) all day long, there is something going on that is just freaking STUPID! – the answer is not to throw more laws at the issue but to do away with the current laws and replace them with nothing.

    The argument that bio-fuel is a net energy looser is another ignorant statement. To clump bio-diesel with ethanol shows peoples true lack of understanding. There are also sub markets within this industry for byproducts produced from the process of making bio-fuels that are never taking into consideration when people throw out there funny numbers of net energy losers. I don’t even feel like getting into the topic of using recycled items such as WVO to produce bio-diesel to produce fuel and its value in the marketplace as a net energy gain because it would have just been thrown away.

  2. Todd October 24, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    John, do you understand farming subsidies that keep land unworked in the US? Do you understand “crop rotation” techniques? Do you understand that localization is efficiency?
    Localization of production, distribution and use is “(the modification of) the patterns of consumption and the energy matrix.” It’s an effort to close the loop, or bring about a cradle-to-cradle effect.
    Thanks for the point to the article The Darkside of Biofuels, EvanL. It supports my points exactly that localized energy production is mandatory for the related changes we need to make. The article is really about current globalization and the slavery/endentured servitude of the workers than the viability of biofuel, other than ethanol, as a petroleum replacement, but factory farming for international export, no matter the crop or intended use, makes for a massive negative-gain in energy. MalWart is/will be selling “organic” produce although it actually isn’t since it is/will be shipped from overseas (and wherein “organic standard” are far more of a joke than they are in the US). That’s what huge amouts of lobbying money to the right people can buy you.
    The article reads, “…agrofuels will spread monoculture farming …”, but more exactly is should state “…ethanol production as funded by Nafta and Cafta supporting governements around the world will spread monoculture farming and huge profits for bioengineering companies such as Bunge, Cargill, and Monsanto, and for the investing petroleum companies who see the supply of tappable-oil dwindling before them (hence their rush for quick and massive profiteering).
    Again, “biofuels are a bad choice because they use and deplete soil needed for growing food (the REAL “bio fuel”) and because they are largely dependent on fossil fuels to grow and harvest” ?? Huh? We see that biofuels aren’t a solution – of course! It’s one piece of many. That’s why the urban-sprawl concept is gaining popularity, that’s why Seattle voters have been fighting for a cohesive mass transit system for 20 years. Sadly the negative-population-growth movement has yet to get a lot of support, and it probably won’t any time soon as such a movement is anti-capitalist. Also consider other acting upon (rather than just “reacting to”): voting out supporters of Nafta and Cafta, boycott Gap/Hilfiger/OldNavy/AmericanEagle/BananaRepublic (same parent company), stop buying from Dole, Mitubishi, Coka Cola, M&M/Mars, Starbucks and any (other) slave labor-ridden companies and materials that have human-conflict connections, bioengineered anything, and factory farmed meat (especially the fast food variety which thrives upon cattle grown in rainforest clearcuts) – as a start.
    And yes John, Cars Are Coffins. I ride my vintage Ciocc every day.
    http://ran.org/what_we_do/rainforest_agribusiness/spotlight/launch/
    http://www.socialistalternative.com/news/article20.php?id=621
    http://www.bushgreenwatch.org/mt_archives/000319.php

  3. John October 18, 2007 at 10:46 am

    fortitudine…I feel that you are not grasping the idea as to why biolfuels are not a solution.

    I think what’s operating in you or other biofuels fans is that you can’t bear the thought of the end of a life where driving your car is second only to breathing.

    Biofuels are a bad choice because they use and deplete soil needed for growing food (the REAL “bio fuel”) and because they are largely dependent on fossil fuels to grow and harvest. It is very seductive for car-lovers to embrace the idea of bio fuels as a solution with 100% benefit and 0% problem but it’s just not so.

    Car culture, whatever the fuel, was a wrong turn and it’s time we grow up and get over it.

  4. Keetsa Mattress Store -... October 17, 2007 at 9:53 pm

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  5. fortitudine October 17, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    For all the naysayers about biofuels, and biodiesel in particular, I have a couple of questions…

    Do you still drive a car (…truck, motorcycle, whatever…)?

    If so, what fuels it?

    If you aren’t actually using an already-available alternative, why do you feel so righteous as to criticize those that are?

    Biodiesel is the real-world alternative I use… what’s yours?

  6. Erik van Lennep October 17, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    hmmmm. forgot about the url delete function. The article appeared in Worldpress (dot) org, titled:

    The Dark Side of Biofuels: Horror in the ‘Brazilian California’
    Raúl Zibechi, Americas Program, Center for International Policy (C.I.P.), July 23, 2007

    check it out

  7. Erik van Lennep October 17, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    Have a look :The Dark Side of Biofuels
    As we search for answers to our energy addiction, it’s esential to look at the entire chain of activities related to tanking up on the clean ‘n green. This article is just one horrific example of what is being repeated around the world in different ways. If it’s not slavery and big oil / big chemical companies continuing the business-as-usual levereging of national economies, it’s simplification of ecosystems for monocultural palm oil plantations. Etc. We not only need to find cleaner fuels, we need to prioritise their use as well. The fantasy of endless supply is over.

    And what’s all this about unproductive desert? Complex, delicate, and unique ecosystems teaming with irreplaceable biodiversity….perhaps a bit too subtle to appreciate from the window of a speeding car?

  8. Richie October 17, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    Bio-Deisel is not, and will never be , ‘the answer’. Next.

  9. Todd October 17, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    Biodiesel is lower in co2 and carbon particulate emissions but higher in nox emissions – an issue being addressed in the biodiesel production industry. I burned biodiesel in an ’84 Jetta that I drove for a year (the car needed more non-engine related repairs than I could afford at the time so I sold it). I bought b100 biodiesel in the summer and b80 in the winter from one of the many local biodiesel sellers in my area (most often from one that has been selling it for almost 20 years and now has ~4000 customers who most commonly drive TDI Jetta wagons). (And I burned b100 made by my girlfriend’s dad). Most of the Washington state biodiesel sellers will be switching to fuel that is grown and produced locally (i.e. within the same state in which they sell). That equals less fuel burned in transport, and if the farmers burn the same fuel they produce (like farmers used to do, hence the popularity of the diesel engine from it’s ability to burn many types of fuel – http://www.ybiofuels.org/bio_fuels/history_diesel.html) then it’s much more of a closed-loop system. Soy bean crops have always been used in farm production to add nitrogen back into the soil whether or not it was grown for food as well – that makes for healthy soil, not a dust-bowl situation. In general, “John”, if improper farming practices are used (i.e. not rotating crops, not planting nutrient-replacing crops in set cycles, etc, etc) then the soil will be stripped and hardly usable for growing – it’s farming practices, not selected crops, that destroy healthy soil (unless you’re talking about the effects of growing sugar cane in an area with a shallow and limited water table, but that’s another discussion). Biodiesel production doesn’t need to utilize petroleum at all, unless you’re talking ethanol (why do you think the petroleum industry is so behind it? Ethanol has a hugely negative energy gain because of the petroleum requirements). And biofuel crop production doesn’t have to raise food prices! Rather, change or eliminate the farm subsidies that keep farmers from working their lands to keep food prices “stable” – so much farm land sits baren (also stripping the soil of nutrients) that those areas could easily be opened to grow fuel-specific crops. And, since those crops wouldn’t be destined for the dinner table, therefor not having to look pretty, the fertilizer use would be minimal to non-existant. Yes, it is possible to grow crops with zero fertilizer use; research organic growing practices (not just “certified organic” growing practices but true organic growing practices).
    Oh, and there are 2 large biodiesel (not ethanol) production plants in Washington state now, one in Seattle – http://www.seattlebiodiesel.com/ – and one in Ellensburg – http://www.cwbiodiesel.com/ – and another opening in Odessa in ’08 – http://www.biodieselnow.com/forums/thread/135260.aspx. The Port of Seattle and SSA Marine have been working on a project to switch all port operations vehicles to biodiesel as well as supplying cruiseships, tankers & freighters with electric power produced by burning biodiesel while in port so that they can power-down their engines – http://www.portseattle.org/news/press/2005/12_23_2005_36.shtml.

  10. Sean October 17, 2007 at 6:34 am

    There are other problems with Biodiesel than how it is produced one of which is the cloud point of it. Because the cloud point is so high, it will start to gel at a much higher temperature than diesel. Not a problem in warm weather, but a real problem in the cold.

  11. Ricardo Reis October 17, 2007 at 5:05 am

    “100 square miles of desert is enough to power all of america with algae bio-fuel.. ” can you sustain this remark with data and references? I’m curious…

  12. josh ruppert October 17, 2007 at 2:14 am

    Algae can be grown for biodiesel..No more of this whining about food prices.. 100 square miles of desert is enough to power all of america with algae bio-fuel.. Desert land that otherwise is unproductive for conventional crops.. Also carbon in equals carbon out.. Thet carbon given off at burning was the same carbon the plant breathed in during it’s life cycle.. Then again repeated during the next algae growth cycle so YES it is really carbon neutral.. Who cares if it takes slightly more..Irrelevent arguments..

  13. www.airfaresrockbottom.... October 16, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    [...] Jorge wrote a fantastic post today on “TRANSPORTATION TUESDAY: Worldâs First Biodiesel Jet!”Here’s ONLY a quick extractAir travel is getting greener- first the EcoJet and Dreamliner lower-emissions aircrafts hit the scene, and now with a ground-breaking development from Green Flight International, biodiesel has succesfully been tested for jet usage. … [...]

  14. anonymous thomas October 16, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    Almost efficient enough to put up the front landing gear.

  15. Chat Marchet News Diges... October 16, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    [...] Get the whole story here… This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 16th, 2007 at 9:09 pm and is filed under le Chat Marchet. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. [...]

  16. marvingalaxy October 16, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    Biofuel is not a bad idea unless executed in the least efficient way possible. Biodiesel from plants grown that can live with less water and fertilizer needs makes sense. Biodiesel from algae which actually NEED excess CO2 to thrive makes a lot of sense. That would essentially be solar power via chemical storage. Algae can grow in brackish (semi-salty) water and probably could even help reclaim some sewage. Grown in closed systems, algae would not use excess water and could conceivably help produce fresh water. Arid-loving crops and maybe even some high-oil seeds may actually break even on the energy/water/fertilizer used and algae would be beneficial if the yield and cost can be worked out.

    The increased efficiency of petro diesel makes it worth switching to immediately and biodiesel from waste is all good. Efficient new biodiesel combined with waste biodiesel definitely are a good idea.

    Of course, I am the first to admit that ethanol from corn is a bad idea due to the horrible inefficiency introduced by heat distillation. Biodiesel doesn’t need to be distilled with natural gas and it also gets much better fuel mileage than alcohol.

  17. loyd October 16, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    I agree with J

  18. TRANSPORTATION TUESDAY:... October 16, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    [...] TRANSPORTATION TUESDAY: World’s First Biodiesel Jet! Air travel is getting greener- first the EcoJet and Dreamliner lower-emissions aircrafts hit the scene, and now with a ground-breaking development from Green Flight International, biodiesel has succesfully been tested for jet usage. Developed by Biodiesel Solutions and tested on an L-29 military air… [...]

  19. John October 16, 2007 at 10:56 am

    I’d like to see both people and “experts” get off the biofuels wagon. It’s not sustainable, it’s not smart, and it’s helping to delude people into thinking that all we have to do to weather the environment and natural resources crisis, is to switch from one kind of fuel to another.

    What we need to do is make dramatic changes to how we live, which means not using very much fuel of any kind to zip around 24/7.

    Since Jets use heroic amounts of fuel to fly, and since bio fuels rely on both fossil fuels and precious top soil, the biofuel jet is basically saying: “Yeah, let’s use up more oil and blow away our top soil so people can jet all over this dying planet.”

    NOT smart.

    J

  20. eric October 16, 2007 at 10:25 am

    Sure, biodiesel may be renewable… But is it really greener???

    Lets think about all the fertilizers that will be used to grow switch grass / corn / etc.

    It’s still pumping C02 into the atmosphere, perhaps at a faster rate because of lower fuel economies.

    Renewable, yes. Clean and free? NO.

  21. Tuesday Travels: Top 10... October 16, 2007 at 9:45 am

    [...] Transportation Tuesdays: World’s First Biodiesel Jet! at Inhabitat [...]

  22. TRANSPORTATION TUESDAY:... October 16, 2007 at 5:46 am

    [...] Original post by Inhabitat [...]

  23. Damien Guard October 16, 2007 at 5:36 am

    Biodiesel isn’t without it’s own problems. One major potential one is that consumption and demand for biofuels could easily push up the cost of food as large areas of land switch to biofuel production.

    [)amien

  24. fuzzyvagina October 16, 2007 at 5:08 am

    i cannot support this, due to the comic sans logo on the side. shocking

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