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Last Updated : Nov 28, 2018 01:54 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Aircraft may soon be powered by animal byproducts: Report

Apart from bringing down pollution levels, using biofuel has the added benefit of being lighter on the pocket

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Answer: Paramount Airlines (Image: Reuters)
Answer: Paramount Airlines (Image: Reuters)

Researchers are looking at beef tallow -- a rendered form of animal fat -- as a possible, sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Airlines, which account for around 2 percent of the world's carbon emissions, have been working on minimising the pollution caused by their aircraft for some time now.

Apart from bringing down pollution levels, using beef tallow to make jet fuel has the added benefit of being lighter on the pocket.

Given that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) sees the number of air passengers doubling by 2035, this could prove to be a game changer.

One of the first refineries to actually convert beef tallow to biofuel was California-based AltAir Paramount LLC, which also converts chicken fat and hemp to jet fuel.

"I took an idled refinery that traditionally produced petroleum byproducts -- anything from rubber to diesel fuel -- and converted it into a renewable jet fuels facility," Jason Aintabi, President of Vandewater Capital Holdings and former controlling shareholder of AltAir Fuels, which owns the Paramount refinery, told Bloomberg.

In March this year, AltAir Fuels was bought by World Energy, one of North America's largest biofuel suppliers. The company now has capacity to produce more than 245 million gallons of biodiesel and jet fuel.

Relying on conventional sources of fuel has proved to be a costly affair for airlines, thanks to the fluctuations in prices in the energy market.

This, coupled with some pressure from regulators, has pushed airlines to seriously consider changing the way they power their aircraft.

As at the end of June this year, as many as 130,000 commercial flights had been powered by biofuel, according to IATA.

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First Published on Nov 28, 2018 01:54 pm
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