At the Farnborough Airshow 2010 Airbus Group showcased flights of an aircraft powered by pure biofuel made from algae. A Diamond Aircraft DA42 New Generation powered by two Austro Engine AE300 engines takes part in the daily flight demonstrations. Algae are considered to be promising potential feedstock for biofuels, as certain species of algae contain high amounts of oil. This oil can be extracted, processed and refined for various uses. Therefore microalgae have now emerged as one of the leading sources for alternative fuels. Algae can be produced in sufficiently large quantities without competing with food production for fertile land or potable water. The exhaust gas quality measurements indicate that biofuel from algae contains eight times less unburned hydrocarbons than kerosene derived from crude oil. In addition, nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide emissions will also be reduced due to the very low nitrogen and sulfur content of the biofuel compared to fossil fuel. Currently it is significantly more expensive to produce oil from algae in comparison to sourcing crude oil. If algae-based fuel is to be able to compete with kerosene, research and development work must aim to establish a cost effective mass production of algae biofuels using industrial quantities of carbon dioxide.
© Airbus Group 2014