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Fueled By Tobacco
SOUTH AFRICA LEADING THE WAY IN SUSTAINABLE AVIATION
Boeing and SAA launched their sustainable aviation fuels collaboration in 2013, followed a year later by Project Solaris being announced as the first focus project to convert oil from the Solaris tobacco plant seed into jet biofuel.
Why tobacco? It’s grown in large tracts throughout the U.S and in more than 100 countries. It generates multiple harvests per year, its large leaves could store a lot of fuel, and it’s amenable to genetic engineering.
The flights used sustainable jet biofuel produced from research and development company Sunchem’s nicotine-free tobacco plant Solaris, in Marble Hall, Limpopo, which was refined by fuel refiner AltAir Fuels and supplied by sustainable jet fuel manufacturer SkyNRG.
SAA aims to have half its fleet using biofuel by 2022.