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Business

Qantas to fuel plane with tiny seeds

by Melody M. Bomgardner
November 27, 2017 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 95, ISSUE 47

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Credit: Agrisoma Biosciences
Carinata mustard seed to be grown by Australian farmers for biofuel production.
Credit: Agrisoma Biosciences
Carinata mustard seed to be grown by Australian farmers for biofuel production.

Early next year Qantas will fly the first biofueled flight between the U.S. and Australia, using fuel made from the seeds of Brassica carinata, a nonfood relative of the mustard plant. Fuel Services and AltAir Fuels will produce the fuel from a carinata variety developed by Agrisoma Biosciences. The companies plan to establish the water-efficient crop in Australia and hope to produce 200 million L of fuel annually by 2020. AltAir currently supplies United Airlines flights at Los Angeles International Airport with fuels made from vegetable and waste oils.

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