Aug 02, 2007

New Zealand Plane to Use Pond Algae, Sewer Water as Fuel

Air New Zealand and airliner manufacturer Boeing are working with biofuel developer Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation to create the world's first aviation fuel to be made of environmentally friendly pond scum.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, if the experiments reveal positive results, then Air NZ will make an aircraft available on the Tasman to test the biofuel.

The fuel is derived from bacterial pond scum that is created through the photosynthesis of sunlight and carbon dioxide on nutrient-rich water sources, such as sewage ponds.

The plan would be for Air NZ to test the fuel on one engine, and use regular fuel on the other, since fuel can be directed to a specific engine.

Virgin Fuels has also told The Sydney Morning Herald in April that the company is working with Boeing to demonstrate biofuel in a 747-400, specifically focusing on algae-derived jet fuel.

Aquaflow director Vicki Buck told The Sydney Morning Herald that she is unable to talk about any ventures in order to avoid compromising potential projects. However, she did report that the company received $NZ 90,000 of funding from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology and would seek further funding later in the year.