At the close of 2008, Air New Zealand made headlines with a test flight employing a 50/50 blend of jatropha-derived biofuel and conventional fuel. The blend was employed in just one of the Boeing
The aviation industry is slowly but surely seeking out fuel alternatives. That of course includes the military, which recently tapped UOP to supply a variety of jet biofuels, totaling 600,000 gallons. Biofuels are grabbing most of the headlines, but a different sort of test flight caught my attention this week.
On Monday, Qatar Airways announced a successful commercial passenger flight using a fuel derived from natural gas. The fuel, developed by Royal Dutch Shell
So, is GTL fuel about to take the aviation world by storm? There are reasons to be skeptical.
While Shell and Qatar Petroleum are pushing ahead with Pearl GTL, the world's largest of such plants, other GTL projects have been dropped by the likes of ExxonMobil
This suggests to me that the economics of GTL are not compelling. Without a major wave of additional GTL plants, I don't see the alternative fuel really getting off the ground.