Earlier this year, in January, the humble little mustard seed reached a new milestone, a truly incredible one. A Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 created aviation history when it flew from Los Angeles to Melbourne using biofuel – derived from mustard seed! The Qantas flight that made the journey produced 7 percent fewer carbon emissions. Engineers say that in a pound-for-pound comparison, mustard seed biofuel produces 80 percent fewer emissions than traditional fuel. That’s great news for the environment.
The Qantas flight spanning 13,000 kilometres used a blend of 90 percent standard jet fuel and 10 percent biofuel. Currently, airlines are permitted a maximum of 50 percent biofuel – but Qantas is hopeful that someday soon, flights could be 100 percent powered by biofuel.
In India a few months ago, SpiceJet operated India’s first biofuel-powered flight from Dehradun to Delhi. In the Indian case, however, conventional Jatropha based biofuel was used. However, since India is the Land of Mustard and Mustard Oil, we hope that soon mustard-based biofuel will become a reality in the aviation sector.
And in these dark times filled with atmospheric pollution that would certainly be good news for our lungs and for our health!