Virgin Atlantic completes first successful biofuel flight
Virgin Atlantic has completed the first ever flight of a commercial aircraft powered by biofuel, with a plane travelling between London Heathrow and Amsterdam yesterday (February 24th).
The plane was powered by fuel produced by a mixture of coconut oil and babassu oil, with Virgin president, Sir Richard Branson, claiming that the flight was concrete evidence of the aviation industry's commitment to reducing carbon emissions.
"Today marks a biofuel breakthrough for the whole airline industry," he said. "Virgin Atlantic, and its partners, are proving that you can find an alternative to traditional jet fuel and fly a plane on new technology, such as sustainable biofuel.
"This pioneering flight will enable those of us who are serious about reducing our carbon emissions to go on developing the fuels of the future, fuels which will power our aircraft in the years ahead through sustainable next-generation oils, such as algae."
However, the flight's environmental credentials were questioned by campaigning group Greenpeace, who issued a statement claiming that increased production of the crops used for the foil would lead to sustainability issues.
"Ramping up production of either of these oils so that aircraft can gobble them up will still displace food crops into other, previously uncultivated areas including rainforests," it warned.
Article Date: 25 February 2008
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