Biofuel is now helping power United Airlines flights out of Los Angeles.

United began mixing biofuel with traditional jet fuel earlier this year. The biofuel is made from waste products like animal fats and manure. This farm waste would otherwise rot and produce methane, a potent global-warming gas.

Angela Foster-Rice is the managing director of environmental affairs and sustainability for United. She says the biofuel emits 60 percent less carbon dioxide than regular fuel over its lifecycle.

Angela Foster-Rice

That could be a huge improvement, because planes produce about 12 percent of all U.S. transportation emissions.

While United’s biofuel is conveniently made close to the LA airport, there’s no single source of waste that can produce enough biofuel to power all air travel everywhere. So different locations will need to use different sources, such as food waste from cities. But regardless of the source used to make it …

Foster-Rice: “Biofuel has to meet the same standard as traditional jet fuel.”

”United Click To Tweet

Biofuel is currently available in only a few locations. But Foster-Rice hopes United’s effort will increase demand – and supply. Because turning household and farm waste into clean fuel could help clear the skies ahead.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo source: Screenshot from United video.

More Resources
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Farm and municipal waste to bio jet fuel

Daisy Simmons

Daisy Simmons is a freelance writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience in research-driven storytelling. In addition to contributing to Yale Climate Connections since early 2016, she also...