India’s first flight using biofuel will fly from Dehradun (capital of Uttarakhand) to Delhi. The first ever biofuel test flight was conducted by SpiceJet on its turborporp Q-400 plane. With this India will join elite club of nations who have operated flight on alternative energy source like biofuel. Developed countries like Canada, Australia and US have already conducted these test flights. India will be first developing nation to experiment biofuel test flight.
SpiceJet operated first such biofuel flight from Dehradun to Delhi using alternative environment friendly fuel for 10 minutes over Dehradun. Based on the result of test flight, second flight took off later to Delhi. The objective this biofuel flight is to make air travel economical and bring some respite to airlines reeling under high fuel price through use of alternate fuel. Moreover, use of biofuel has the potential to reduce aviation carbon emissions by up to 80%. According to recent data from International Air Transport Association (IATA), recent rising aviation fuel costs in India has eroded aviation sector’s profitability.
The world’s first dedicated biofuel flight (by Dreamliner Boeing 787-9) was flown for first time from Los Angeles (US) to Melbourne (Australia) in January 2018 by Australian carrier Qantas. The fuel for this 15-hour flight was blended one and was 10% derived from industrial type of mustard seed. In 2011, Alaska Airlines had operated some flights using biofuel made of 50% used cooking oil. Air carrier KLM also had operated few biofuel flights between New York and Amsterdam in 2013.
Biofuel is produced from vegetable oils, recycled grease, algae and animal fat. It is cleaner, environmental friendly fuel that can be used as alternative in place of fossil fuels. To reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and its imports, India is trying to promote biofuels. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy recently on August 10, 2018 (World Biofuel Day 2018) had released National Policy on Biofuels 2018. Under it, Government plans to triple ethanol production over the next four years. It also has set target of 20% blending of ethanol in petrol by 2030.