Farmers to Grow Mustard Seed for Bio Jet Fuel

Cindy Zimmerman

Canadian-made yellow Carinata mustard seed to be grown by Australia farmers for bio-fuel production (CNW Group/Agrisoma Biosciences)

Farmers in Australia will soon be growing a Canadian oilseed to make bio jet fuel thanks to a new “farm to flight” deal between Quebec-based Agrisoma Biosciences and Qantas Airlines.

Agrisoma will work with Australian farmers to grow the Carinata seed, a non-food type of mustard seed that produces high-quality oil ideal for renewable aviation jet fuel and renewable diesel fuel.

“Our long-term goal with this partnership is to grow the crop at a target of 400,000 hectares which will ultimately produce more than 200 million litres of bio jet fuel for the airline, says Steven Fabijanski, Agrisoma’s Ph.D. President and CEO.

In 2018, to demonstrate the benefits of Agrisoma’s biofuel, Qantas will operate the world’s first bio-fuel flight between the United States and Australia. “We are constantly looking for ways to reduce carbon emissions across our operations but when it comes to using renewable jet fuel, until now, there has not been a locally grown option at the scale we need to power our fleet,” says CEO Qantas International, Alison Webster.

Carinata requires no special production or processing techniques and uses little water. It is sown either in fallow areas where crops fail or as a cover crop. When crushed, the seed also produces a high protein feed for Australian livestock, dairy and poultry producers.

aviation biofuels, biojet fuel