American aviation giant Boeing is teaming up with South African Airways and Dutch aviation innovator SkyNRG to find a way to create bio jet fuel from tobacco plants.
Rather than traditional tobacco, a hybrid plant known as Solaris will be grown and used for the purpose. Test farming of these nicotine-free plants is already underway, with biofuel production expected to commence in the near future. Initially, only oil from the plants' seeds will be converted into jet fuel. In the future however, new technologies could open up the possibility of creating biofuel from other parts of the plant as well. The plants will be grown by farmers in rural South Africa.
Boeing is already a world leader in the development of eco-friendly jet fuel, which can reduce carbon emissions by 50-80%.
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