Thursday, January 8, 2009

First Jet Flight Powered by Algae

Well, I just heard some great news.

Continental Airlines just completed its first test flight with a Boeing 737 that was partially powered by biofuel made from algae! The flight was the first test done so by a US commercial carrier.

Props to Continental!

One of the planes' two engines consisted of a 50-50 mix of biofuel and aircraft fuel.

"The flight from Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport completed a circuit over the Gulf of Mexico, and pilots carried out a series of tests at 38,000ft (11.6km), including a mid-flight engine shutdown.

'The airplane performed perfectly,' test pilot Rich Jankowski told the Houston Chronicle newspaper.

'There were no problems. It was textbook.'"

Textbook baby!

The best part about the test is that the biofuel used is a "drop-in fuel", meaning that there is no modification required for the aircraft to use it. The use of algae is fast becoming the future for biofuel: it grows extremely fast, does not compete with food crops, and is better for the enviroment.

All that is left is to make algae commercially competitive.

Check out the full BBC article here.

To get your algae fix, click here.

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