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Indian Air Force Launches Biofuel Flight To Reduce Carbon Footprint

India has shown its commitment to becoming greener by launching its first Indian Air Force (IAF) flight powered by a biofuel blend.

The aircraft was filled with a mix of ten per cent bio-jet fuel that was produced from the flowering plant Jatropha, which has interested scientists for a while for its use as a crop for biodiesel production, as well as 90 per cent Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF).

Taking to the sky on Monday December 17th, the AN 32 planes flew successfully for one hour with the help of experimental test pilots and a test engineer from IAF’s Aircraft and Systems and Testing Establishment, the Financial Express reported.

Speaking with the news provider, a senior IAF officer stated: “The flight was perfect and the transport aircraft flew for one hour and things went as planned.”

Following this initial flight, the team want the aircraft to fly over New Delhi during the Republic Day Parade on January 26th 2019.

As well as wanting to reduce its carbon footprint, one of the reasons IAF is opting for the biofuel blend is to save money.

It currently spends Rs 40,000 crores (£4.5 billion) a year on ATF, and this figure could be reduced by up to 15 per cent if the organisation combined it with biofuel instead.

This progress will also make India known worldwide for its green credentials, becoming one of the first countries to have flown military and commercial planes on indigenous biofuel.

In 2016, the US Navy introduced its first aircraft powered by a mix of petroleum and biofuel from beef fat, the Guardian reported, with the military aiming to increase its proportion of green jet-energy from ten per cent to 50 per cent by 2020.

Find out why tank breather valves are important in helping to create biofuels from natural sources.