South African Airways: Flight with fuel out of tobacco

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Would Boeing and South African Airways be announcing the end of the use of the fossil fuel? In a joint communiqué, the American aircraft manufacturer and the South African airline company announced the production of a biofuel out of tobacco soon.

The project is revolutionary and will considerably upset the aeronautics world. Boeing and South African develop a fuel with Solaris, a species of genetically modified tobacco, produced by the Dutch group, SkyNRG. Contrary to the classic tobacco, the tobacco Solaris has grains and flowers more developed and can contain until 40 % of oil.

According to the communiqué from the developers of the project, the farming of Solaris is already effective in the USA, in Egypt and in Italy. It did not however enter its industrial phase. Apart from the farming of this type of tobacco on large surfaces, the implication of small local exploitations is also planned.

« By using the hybrid tobacco, we can take advantage from the skills of the South African tobacco farmers in order to develop a culture of marketable biofuel without encouraging smoking« , indicated Ian Cruickshank, specialist of environmental at SAA, quoted by Reuters.

Beyond its economic advantages, the production of this biofuel will participate in the environmental protection. According to the Dutch group, SkyNRG, the use of the tobacco Solaris will reduce by 80 % the CO2 emissions compared to the fossil fuel.

« There is potential for this biofuel in several regions where we cultivate the traditional tobacco, in particular in Africa, in Southern and central Europe, in Asia, in Oceania and in Latin America« , reassured Jessica Kowal, spokesman of Boeing.


Original text by: Roger ADZAFO


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