Jatropha powers India’s first biofuel flight

The SpiceJet plane after it landed at the Delhi airporton Monday.PTIPTI

The SpiceJet plane after it landed at the Delhi airporton Monday.PTIPTI  

Dehradun-Delhi flight used biofuel blended with ATF

A blend of oil from jatropha seeds and aviation turbine fuel propelled the country’s first ever bio jet fuel-powered flight on Monday between Dehradun and Delhi.

25-75 mix

The 43 minute flight was operated by SpiceJet’s Bombardier Q-400 aircraft with 20 officials and five crew members on board.

A blend of 25% of bio jet fuel and 75% of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) was carried in one of the two engines of the plane, while the other engine carried only ATF. International standards permit a blend rate of upto 50% biofuel with ATF.

“Today’s flight was a technological demonstration that bio jet fuel can be used in flights. It has the potential to reduce fuel costs by 15-20%,” SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director, Ajay Singh said after the flight landed at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport.

Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said, “A policy will soon be framed on bio jet fuel for aviation industry and placed before the Cabinet.”

The indigenously developed fuel has been nearly eight years in the making by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) lab based in Dehradun along with the Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP).

The institute started its experiment on biofuel soon after Virgin Atlantic carried out the first test flight globally in 2008.

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