United Flights Will Be Powered By Animal Droppings

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This shit just got real.

Perhaps the bill for purchasing animal waste is much cheaper than gasoline! The New York Times has reported that the airline is going to power a plane that takes off from Los Angeles bound for San Francisco with animal droppings and oils derived from animals fats. The flight will represent a long-awaited milestone: the first time a domestic airline operates regular passenger flights using an alternative jet fuel.

Along with the news about the biofuel-powered flight, United announced on Tuesday a major investment of $30 million dollars in one of the largest producers of aviation biofuels, Fulcrum BioEnergy, the biggest investment so far by a domestic airline in the small but growing field of alternative fuels. Based in California, Fulcrum has developed and certified a technology that turns municipal waste — household trash — into sustainable aviation fuel, a kind that can be blended directly with traditional jet fuels. Fulcrum said its technology can cut airline’s carbon emissions by 80% compared with traditional jet fuel. It’s currently building a refinery in Nevada to open in 2017 and has plans for five more plants around the country.

By 2020, Alaska Airlines also wants to use biofuels at one of its airports and more in the future. Southwest Airlines announced last year that it would purchase about three million gallons a year of jet fuel made from wood residues from Red Rock Biofuels. The first blend of this new fuel product will be able by 2016. In the U.K., British Airways joined with Solena Fuels to build a biofuel refinery near London’s Heathrow Airport, which will be completed by 2017.

According to United Airlines’ action plan, for the first two weeks, four to five flights a day will carry a fuel mixture that is 30 percent biofuel and 70 percent traditional jet fuel; after that, the fuel will be blended into the overall supply. Fulcrum’s chief executive confirmed that the company had secured 20-year agreements from municipal waste management companies, including Waste Management, to provide stable supplies for the company’s projects.

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