Continental Joins Biodiesel Flight Club

John Davis

continentalLess than two weeks after Air New Zealand took to the air in a flight powered by jatropha-based biodiesel, American carrier Continental Airlines has used a combination of the the weed and algae to fuel one of its 737s.

This story from the Los Angeles Times has details:

The two-hour test flight over Houston, where the carrier’s headquarters is located, involved powering one of the two engines with a mix of 50% kerosene and a blend of fuel derived from algae and jatropha, a weed that bears oil-producing seeds. No passengers were on board.

The demonstration flight was the first by a U.S. carrier. It was the latest among a handful of airlines that are testing a new generation of so-called sustainable biofuels that could help airlines cut fuel costs and reduce carbon emissions.

Later on this month, Japan Airlines is scheduled to join the biodiesel-friendly skies using Montana-grown camelina biodiesel.