Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Biokerosene to be used in aviation

Biokerosene and biodiesel are both biofuels, both refined from oleaginous crops. At first it looked like the biodiesel will be the most significant of all alternative fuels and first one to find its place on the international market. But apparently it looks like that won't be the case because biokerosene looks to be adapting more quickly because of its potential use in aviation. As we all know planes are very fuel-hungry (jet plane needs about 10000 liters of fuel to take off) and petroleum-based fuel won't last for eternity, it costs too much, and its price will probably rise even higher so it's important to find some kind of alternative and that alternative could be biokerosene.

This is what Brasilian inventor of biokerosene and biodiesel, Expedito Parente stressed out and he also added how biofuel is being tested "throughout the air transport chain, including in the manufacturing of planes, turbines and accessories, and the network of aeronautical fuel distribution". Parente says that biodiesel, which is intended for local consumption, making use of available raw materials and biokerosene for aviation "has to be international, shared" and free from national protectionisms, although this is yet to be seen.

Biofuels and the carbon circle. Click on picture for full size.

So far this biofuel alternative seems to be only alternative that seems economically viable and biofuels are also emiting less greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. However biofuel isn't perfect alternative fuel as Jean Ziegler, UN Special Rapporteur recently said, pointing out how production of biofuels will cause even more hunger in the world because biofuel production is direct transformation of food to a fuel and this will not only cause more hunger in the world but will also increase the price of food .

It is a very thin line between positive and negative sides of biofuel and this hunger problem will certainly need more attention because it's morally unacceptable to produce fuel from food that could easily mean salvation of many hungry people despite positive economic reasons. Looking at the other side, aviation like all other transport sectors it's not possible to be without, so some sort of compromise will have to be find to sort out the difference between hunger on one side and need for fuel on another. Especially since planes will need much more fuel than cars do, meaning much more food will be transformed to a fuel and the cost of this could be very high indeed, especially in Africa.

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