Boeing's prediction that one percent of the commercial aviation industry will be powered by renewable fuels by 2015 may sound trivial, but converting any meaningful portion of the industry over to the plant-derived biofuels could lay the foundation for future exponential growth. Boeing is currently testing biofuels with British Airways Plc and Continental Airlines, but has worked with airlines across the globe as it tries to find suitable, plant-derived aviation fuels. Testing has demonstrated that the plant-derived fuels offer reduced emissions and could help airlines slash their greenhouse gases.

Remarking on the significance of one percent market penetration, Billy Glover, managing director of environmental strategy at Boeing's commercial airplanes unit, told Bloomberg in an interview:
We need to get to 1 percent to get that foundation and then the trajectory will be significantly steeper. We're aiming for a 1 percent penetration around the middle of this decade, and we think that's quite achievable.
Though no commercial airliners currently use biofuels for regular flights, testing of the plant-derived fuels has been going on for years. If Boeing's predictions hold true, our chances of boarding a plane powered by plants are about to get slightly – ever so slightly – better.

[Source: Bloomberg | Image: abdallahh – C.C License 2.0]

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