South African planes may soon fly on waste plants

Cape Town, South Africa

When a South African Airways Boeing 737 took off from O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, two years ago, headed for Cape Town, it was powered by an unusual fuel: tobacco.

South Africa hasn’t yet repeated the jet biofuel feat, but in an effort to cut its climate-changing emissions and promote greener power the country’s researchers are looking for innovative ways to manufacture green aviation fuel at larger scale.

A new “Waste to Wing” project aims to one day produce a significant share of the country’s aviation fuel from waste plants, including invasive species.

‚ÄúSouth Africa produces a large amount of agricultural waste, as well as waste from plantation forestry and waste biomass from alien vegetation…

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