Qantas Dreamliner fueled by mustard seed oil takes flight from U.S. to Australia
A Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner was filled with 24,000kg of mustard seed-based blended fuel.
In addition to 90-percent regular jet fuel, the airplane burned 10 percent of blended fuel, which has been derived from brassica carinata, an industrial type of mustard seed that functions as a fallow crop.
The seed can be grown by farmers in between regular crop cycles. One hectare of seeds yields 400 liters of biofuel and 1400 liters of renewable diesel.
The process has been developed by Canadian agricultural-technology company Agrisoma Biosciences. According to its CEO Steve Fabijanski, mustard seeds are not only easily converted into jet fuel, but there are other advantages including producing animal meal after the oil extraction.
“It's a tough crop. It grows where other crops won't grow. It doesn't need much water and it's well understood by farmers,” he said as cited by the Australian website Traveller. “They can grow it and do well with it.”
Carinata-derived fuel reportedly offers more than 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions compared with traditional jet fuel. ■