Can British Airways, Lufthansa push biofuels into the mainstream?

How realistic is the concept of a passenger plane flying with biofuel? There’s been a lot of buzz around the topic lately. GreenBiz recently reported on an upcoming publicity stunt – where a small private aircraft is expected to fly the 10,000 miles from Australia to the U.K. using only fuel made from plastic waste.

But a lot of mainstream commercial air carriers are beginning to consider biofuel in earnest. British Airways will reportedly break ground on a plant in greater London before the end of the year. It had plans to begin using biofuel in its air fleet starting in 2014 when the airline announced a partnership with Solena to build Europe’s first sustainable jet-fuel plant.

Germany’s Lufthansa, meanwhile, recently signed a collaboration agreement with Australian-based Algae-Tec to build a large-scale, algae-to-aviation fuel production facility somewhere in Europe. Lufthansa is agreeing to purchase at least half of the biofuel produced.

European airlines are looking towards biofuels to help them comply with European Union standards. The EU has imposed a limit to CO2 emissions from any flights arriving at or departing from EU airports.

Image of paper airplane by Walaiporn Yotharat via Shutterstock.

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