Continental, the fourth largest airline group in the US, has taken a giant leap toward turning totally green with the deployment of a twin-engine 737 fuelled by jatropha oil and algae mixed with traditional jet fuel. The experiment is seen as helping the airline with reducing impact on the environmental.
Continental Airlines successfully flew a Boeing 737 twin-engine jet powered partly by algae and jatropha oil. Taking off from Houston, with no passenger on board, the aircraft undertook a two-hour test flight over Houston. In the fuel tank of one of the two engines was a mix of 50 per cent kerosene and a blend of fuel derived from algae and jatropha, a weed that bears oil-producing seeds.
Continental has invested US$12 billion in its eco friendly aircraft and equipment. It has also given a PreKote finish, a chromium-free surface treatment that removes all hazardous chemicals, on the aircraft’s surface. The lead taken by Continental is expected to go a long way. More on that later.