Qantas 787 Dreamliner flew from LA to AU using mustard seed biofuel

Qantas has set a new green milestone by flying a 787 Dreamliner from Los Angeles, California, to Melbourne, Australia, using mustard seed biofuel. This is the first time this biofuel has been used for a long-haul flight between the US and Australia, and it promises good things about our greener, cleaner future. According to Qantas, the flight — which took 15 hours — saved about 18,000kg / 40,000lbs in carbon emissions.

The trans-Pacific flight lasted about 15 hours and used about 24,000kg of blended biofuel made with a type of inedible mustard seed called Brassica carinata, according to Qantas. This type of mustard seed was developed by Agrisoma Biosciences, an agri-tech business located in Canada.

Qantas announced a partnership with Agrisoma last year, which involves both companies working with Australian farmers who are growing the crops to produce the biofuel seeds. Using this biofuel, according to the companies, can decrease emissions by up to 80-percent compared to ordinary jet fuel.

This particular flight used a biofuel blend of 10-percent, saving 7-percent in carbon emissions, according to Qantas. The 787 Dreamliner was a fitting choice for the biofuel, as that itself is more environmentally friendly than similar planes with lower emissions and higher fuel efficiency.

Mustard seeds have proven popular among biofuel companies. The process of converting the seed to a biofuel is simple, relatively speaking, requiring neither specialized processing or production. The plant is described as "water efficient" and particularly suitable for the climate in Australia. As well, this mustard seed variety is a cover crop, meaning it can be planted on land between other food crop cycles.