Will Use Of Biofuels Lower Airfares?  
The country’s first biofuel spiceJet plane before taking off from Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun (Source: PTI)

Will Use Of Biofuels Lower Airfares?  

India has successfully tested its first bio fuel-powered flight.

A Bombardier Q400 airplane operated by the low-cost carrier SpiceJet Ltd. took off at Dehradun and landed in Delhi on Monday morning. It was powered by a fuel mixture comprising 25 percent bio-fuel made from jatropha seeds and 75 percent aviation turbine fuel.

This fuel, according to the CSIR- Indian Institute of Petroleum, has reduced carbon emission and higher fuel efficiency. SpiceJet Chairman Ajay Singh said that thenew fuel can potentially bring down airfares.

Anil Sinha, Principal Scientist of CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum said a pilot plant has been set up to increase the scale of bio fuel production. Simulation to study conditions at which the production scale can be increased are also underway, Sinha said. This is significant given that the International Civil Aviation Organisation is setting a limit on Carbon dioxide emissions.

Presently, biofuels are costlier than normal fuels, said Sinha, suggesting that possible reduction in costs, and airfares, are long-term prospects.

Sinha said biofuels cost 1.5-2 times more than traditional aviation fuels. “If different feedstocks are used, prices can become very competitive.”

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