Johannesburg: Smoking is prohibited during flights, but american company Boeing Corporation has teamed up with South African Airways and build a plane that is powered by fuel produced from tobacco plants.
“Project Solaris” was started in 2014 and it used tobacco plants grown in the Limpopo province of South Africa.
The leaves of the plants are treated in many different steps and then the nicotine and other compounds in the leaves are converted into fuel.
The fuel is called “Solaris Fuel”.
The Solaris fuel has been tested in numerous ways and it has been made sure that it can be used in passenger planes as an alternative for jet fuel. The decision to partially use it in commercial flights has been made after all the tests.
A considerable amount of Solaris fuel was produced and then it was mixed with jet fuel, a passenger plane was filled with this fuel and it carried 300 passenger from Johannesburg to Cape Town in a successful flight.
After the successful flight Boeing Corporation has said that in coming years more and more Solaris fuel will be used which will decrease our dependence of jet fuel.
Do note that any sort of fuel produced from an organic source whether it be animals or plants is categorised as “Bio Fuel”.
Other types of Biofuel include Propanol, Green Diesel, Bio Gas and dozens more, however the most popular Biofuel has been Biodiesel.
This technology is beneficial in multiple ways, firstly it is a great and less harmful alternative for fossil fuels, secondly it will benefit tobacco growers and thirdly because a lot of tobacco will be consumed in ways other than smoking.
Of Course the main benefit that airlines are seeking will be the reduced cost, once produce on a large scale Solaris fuel will be cheaper than regular jet fuel.