By Saurabh Sinha | TNN
4 hours ago
India could see its first ever biofuel flight on Monday with SpiceJet planning to operate a turboprop, Q-400, from Dehradun to Delhi using this sustainable alternative.
While some advanced countries like US and Australia have tested commercial flights on biofuel, India is among the first developing nations to make such an attempt. Sources say the plan is that the biofuel-powered Bombardier Q-400 will take off from Dehradun, fly over the city for 10 minutes and then return there. If the test goes well, then the plane will take off again and this time head to Delhi.
Officials from several regulatory agencies, including the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), will be on board to see the result of this flight.
This January, Australian carrier Qantas flew a Dreamliner Boeing 787-9 between Los Angeles and Melbourne. The fuel for this 15-hour flight was a blended one that was 10 per cent derived from an industrial type of mustard seed. In 2011, Alaska Airlines operated some flights using biofuel made of 50 per cent used cooking oil. And KLM had operated a few biofuel flights between New York and Amsterdam in 2013. The blending is capped for aviation biofuel.
India is also trying to promote biofuels to reduce dependence on fossil fuel. On August 10, World Biofuel Day 2018 was organised in Delhi where Prime Minister Modi released the “National Policy on Biofuels 2018”. This policy describes biofuel as being produced “from renewable resources and used in place of or in blend with, diesel, petrol or other fossil fuels for transport, stationary, portable and other applications.
Renewable resources are the biodegradable fraction of products, wastes and residues from agriculture, forestry, tree based oil other non-edible oils and related industries as well as the biodegradable fraction of industrial and municipal wastes.” The scope of their use includes transportation and stationery applications. A leading oil PSU’s website quotes petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan as saying “several steps have been taken to improve the supply of ethanol for the blending programme that has resulted in supplies jumping from 38 crore litres in 2013-14 to about 141 crore litres in the ongoing season.”
The National Policy on Biofuels 2018 envisages a target of 20 per cent blending of ethanol in petrol by 2030.
This article was originally published on www.timesofindia.com.