Of India’s 1st biofuel flight....

India is all set to witness its first-ever, biofuelpowered flight on Monday with SpiceJet planning to operate a turboprop, Q-400, from Dehradun to Delhi using this sustainable alternative. While some advanced countries, like the US and Australia, have tested commercial flights on biofuel, India is among the first developing nations to make such an attempt.

Sources say the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research and Dehradun-based Indian Institute of Petroleum have prepared 400 kg of bio jet fuel under a pilot project. This fuel is made from vegetable oils, sugar, animal fats, waste biomass and can be used in existing engines without modification. The made-in-India bio jet fuel has secured all statutory clearances, including those from testing labs and DGCA.

It will be filled in the right engine of turboprop for trial, while the left engine will run on normal aviation turbine fuel. The Bombardier Q-400 will take off from Dehradun, fly over the city for 10 minutes and then return. If all goes well, it will take off again and this time head to Delhi. Only officials from regulatory and scientific agencies, including DGCA and SpiceJet, will be on board the flight and not commercial passengers.

A flight completely powered by bio jet fuel has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by up to 80%. Also, cheaper and sustainable jet biofuel could mean lower fares in years to come.

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