Wood-fuelled plane logs its first journey

The first commercial flight powered by a wood-waste biofuel took place this week. An Alaska Airlines jet flew from Seattle to Washington, powered by a 20% jet fuel blend made from fallen branches in a […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The first commercial flight powered by a wood-waste biofuel took place this week.

An Alaska Airlines jet flew from Seattle to Washington, powered by a 20% jet fuel blend made from fallen branches in a sustainable forestry area.

The five-year, $40 million (£32.09m) research project was supported by the US Department of Agriculture and led by Washington State University and the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance.

Alaska Airlines estimates if it were able to replace 20% of its entire fuel supply at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport with the biofuel, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 142,000 tonnes.

That’s roughly equivalent to taking 30,000 cars off the road for a year.

The wood-based fuel is said to be chemically indistinguishable from regular commercial jet fuel.

Virgin Atlantic has also recently tested green jet fuel options.