Qantas operates first US-Australia biofuel flight

A file image of the Carinata seed for planting

A file image of the Carinata seed for planting

According to Qantas, the flight - which took 15 hours - saved about 18,000kg / 40,000lbs in carbon emissions.

The world's first dedicated biofuel flight between the United States and Australia - using mustard seed in a Qantas Dreamliner - is scheduled to land in Melbourne around lunch time.

The flight is part of the partnership announced in 2017 which will also see the companies work with Australian farmers to grow the country's first commercial aviation biofuel seed crop by 2020. Given these lofty targets, airlines like Qantas will continue to need to find new ways to innovate and improve technology so that aircraft can continue flying for the foreseeable future. Using this biofuel, according to the companies, can decrease emissions by up to 80-percent compared to ordinary jet fuel. The 787 Dreamliner was a fitting choice for the biofuel, as that itself is more environmentally friendly than similar planes with lower emissions and higher fuel efficiency.

"Our partnership with Agrisoma is a big step in the development of a renewable jetfuel industry in Australia", said Qantas International CEO, Alison Webster.

Carinita requires no specialised production or processing techniques. It is water efficient and The University of Queensland field trials in Gatton, Queensland, and in Bordertown, South Australia, have demonstrated it should do very well in the Australian climate.

"Biojet fuel made from Carinata delivers both oil for biofuel and protein for animal nutrition while also enhancing the soil its grown in, " he said. "We are excited about the potential of the crop in Australia and look forward to working with local farmer and Qantas to develop a clean energy source for the local aviation industry".

Qantas has celebrated the first ever flight between the U.S. and Australia powered by biofuels, operated by the carrier's new B787-9 aircraft.

QF96 will depart LAX on January 28 and arrive in Melbourne on January 30 (local time).

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