As aircraft are bound to a liquid fuel (it has the most energy content per weight) alternative resources need to be converted into liquid fuels. The industry needs to consider which source is the best for biofuel, it needs to be relatively easy to 'harvest' compared to fossil fuel, with no impact on human food or water supply whatsoever and must be environmentally friendly.
Aircraft engines still cannot run on water but, indirectly, this water can be and is a source of algae. And these algae have a high yield compared to other biomass sources which makes them very interesting to the energy industry. A big advantage of many biofuels over 'normal' fuel types is that they are biodegradable, and if spilled, are harmless to the environment.
Algae, tomorrow's aviation fuel source flight tested by Diamond Aircraft DA-42NG.
Excerpt from the document:
The tests proved that only relatively minor modifications and adjustments had to be made to the aircraft’s engines to qualify the biofuel from algae for the demonstration flights. Due to the higher energy content of the algae biofuel, the fuel consumption of the Diamond DA42 New Generation is 1.5 litres per hour lower when compared to conventional JET-A1 fuel – while maintaining equal performance.
Running on biofuel made from algae, the amount of carbon dioxide released during flight is about equivalent to the amount absorbed by the algae during their growth phase.
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