Airline Execs Discuss Biofuel with Biden

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to a United Nations report, the early Obama era biofuel push exacerbated widespread food shortages, causing severe hardship in poor countries. But this track record of disaster has not deterred Biden from flirting with biofuels as a path to greener aviation.

Airline CEOs, Biden officials consider green-fuel breaks


Chief executives of the nation’s largest passenger and cargo airlines met with key Biden administration officials Friday to talk about reducing emissions from airplanes and push incentives for lower-carbon aviation fuels.

The White House said the meeting with climate adviser Gina McCarthy and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg also touched on economic policy and curbing the spread of COVID-19 — travel has been a vector for the virus. But industry officials said emissions dominated the discussion.

United Airlines said CEO Scott Kirby asked administration officials to support incentives for sustainable aviation fuel and technology to remove carbon from the atmosphere. In December, United said it invested an undisclosed amount in a carbon-capture company partly owned by Occidental Petroleum.

A United Nations aviation group has concluded that biofuels will remain a tiny source of aviation fuel for several years. Some environmentalists would prefer the Biden administration to impose tougher emissions standards on aircraft rather than create breaks for biofuels.

Read more:

Here is what the United nations says about the 2009 Obama push for biofuels;

Chapter IV
The global food crises

When the global financial and economic crisis hit, a large number of developing countries were still reeling from the economic and social impacts of the earlier global food crisis. In 2008, the cereal price index reached a peak 2.8 times higher than in 2000; as of July 2010, it remained 1.9 times higher than in 2000 (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2010a; 2010b).

Prior to the global financial crisis, concerns about the spikes in food and energy prices were at the centre of public and media attention. Global leaders and policymakers were concerned about the potential welfare impacts of the sharp increases in the prices of food commodities, such as rice, corn (maize), wheat and soybeans, as well as global food security. There was concern about how higher food prices were adversely affecting low-income consumers and efforts to reduce poverty, as well as the political and social stability of poor countries and food-importing countries. These concerns have subsequently heightened with the social tensions, unrest and food riots that have broken out in several countries.

However, attention to the fragile and unsustainable global food security situation was pushed off the centre stage of international concerns and replaced by the global financial and economic crisis and the later push towards budget cuts and fiscal austerity in most major industrialized countries. Unfortunately, the food crisis is still far from over as prices have been rising once again since 2009 (Johnston and Bargawi, 2010). The poor remain especially vulnerable, as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned repeatedly. The FAO’s world food-price index had risen to a record high at the time of writing in early 2011, topping the previous all- time high set in June 2008. As a result, rising food prices have driven an estimated 44 million people into poverty (World Bank, 2011). Furthermore, the food riots in Mozambique in September 2010 and recent protests in several North African countries seem to reflect the continued impacts of high food prices on the poor and other vulnerable groups.

Higher energy prices and demand for biofuels

As the search for cheaper energy sources continues, the demand for biofuels has increased. A major source of the growth in demand for food crops is for the production of bioethanol and biodiesel. Developed countries annually provide $13 billion in subsidies and protection to encourage biofuels production, which have diverted 120 million tons of cereals away from human consumption for conversion to fuel. In the United States alone, 119 million out of 416 million tons of grain produced in 2009 went to ethanol distilleries. The grain would have been enough to feed 350 million people for a year! An unpublished World Bank report found that biofuels forced global food prices up by 75 per cent—far more than previously estimated (Chakrabortty, 2008).

Read more: (PDF Copy here)

Poor countries were already in trouble in 2008, before Obama took office. Obama didn’t start the biofuel push, but Obama poured fuel on the fire, by pushing for more biofuel mandates, further constricting the supply of desperately needed food to the global market.

To his credit, Obama was also the President who pulled back from the precipice, when it became clear how much harm biofuel mandates were causing.

Fast forward to 2021, food supply today seems fairly stable. But as the 2008-10 crisis shows, we shouldn’t take this stability and abundance for granted.

The UN believes the 2008-10 crisis was caused by crop failure, fuel shortages, commodity speculation and biofuel mandates.

How do the conditions which led to the 2008-10 crisis compare to today? In my opinion, the parallels are too close for comfort.

Much of the world has lowered interest rates and passed stimulus bills, to try to prevent a new great depression by flooding markets with cheap money. Low interest rate environments increase the risk of speculative commodity bubbles, like those which occurred in 2007-8.

Biden has moved to restrict fuel supply, by banning federal leases. In time this will feed forward to increased US fuel imports and upward pressure on global fuel prices.

China had significant crop failures in 2020, because a sizeable chunk of their arable land on the Yangtze River got washed a way by the big flood. A lot of levies and infrastructure was also destroyed. China is reportedly buying record amounts of food on the international market. There is a risk the Chinese food buying spree might continue for an extended period, putting pressure on poor countries which need to import food.

Now Biden appears to be flirting with biofuel mandates.

A substantial renewed Biden biofuel push on top of everything else which is happening might be all it takes to fully restore the conditions which led to the 2008-10 food crisis.

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Gregory Woods
February 28, 2021 10:22 am

The Biden Regime stooges are reaching Stage 4 Stupidity…

Reply to  Gregory Woods
February 28, 2021 11:30 am

And that stupidity is expanding exponentially !!

Reply to  Gregory Woods
February 28, 2021 11:33 am

My bet stage 4 was reached on Jan 20th. It’s downhill, or uphill, from here.

The Saint
Reply to  Gregory Woods
February 28, 2021 1:33 pm

Why don’t the ignorant democrats support the use of sequestered bio fuels? It’s the same stuff. We normal folks call it oil, gas and coal.

Jeff Meyer
Reply to  Gregory Woods
February 28, 2021 5:20 pm

Airline guy here… How efficient have jet engines become over the years just because of competition? I do not think we are evolving anymore….

Phil Rae
February 28, 2021 10:24 am

Just too stupid for words! Virgin (Richard Branson) did some ridiculous PR stunts with this back in the early days, flying a 747 between London & Amsterdam with only one engine burning a 5% blend of coconut-based biofuel and Jet A1.

It took 150,000 coconuts to produce 1 tonne of fuel to blend with the kerosene! Ridiculous virtue signalling from the global elite!

Reply to  Phil Rae
February 28, 2021 11:08 am

If only Michael Moore’s fat reserves were available to boost the distance.

Reply to  Phil Rae
February 28, 2021 11:17 am


Dr. Bob
Reply to  Phil Rae
February 28, 2021 3:25 pm

Richard Branson, in a gesture to show that the fuel was safe, drank some and had to be next to a restroom for the next fuel days. Coconut oil methyl ester is a potent laxative. That didn’t make the news though. Also, the coconut oil based fuel was not certified for flight as it didn’t meet specifications for commercial jet fuel. So the plane was decertified for that flight and had to be recertified by inspection of the engine and fuel system afterwards. A huge expense just to make the statement that it “Could” fly on “sustainable” fuel. But coconut oil and palm oil are far from environmentally benign.

Tom Halla
February 28, 2021 10:28 am

Like the Hapsbergs, the greens never learn and never forget.

February 28, 2021 10:28 am

Biofuels for kerosene are no different than the corn to ethanol (gasoline additives) crony capitalism that exists in Iowa and Nebraska corn farmers, Both Demrats and Establishment Repubs love them for it buys them political support at campaign time. The ethanol mandates derive from the quite substantial Federal subsidies for growing corn to ethanol in those states.
And kerosene biofuels will not be economically viable for the growers or the airlines without similar substantial Federal government subsidies. While they may talk about mandates and Green virtue, it is really about the subsidies and spending OPM.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
February 28, 2021 10:58 am

crony socialism, not crony capitalism. Using government to take money from the masses and giving it to politicians and their friends is socialism.

Reply to  MarkW
February 28, 2021 4:30 pm

crony capitalism is a form of socialism

Flight Level
February 28, 2021 10:32 am

Let’s hope not too many would get hurt before this idea collapses (again).

Ron Long
Reply to  Flight Level
February 28, 2021 11:48 am

Amen. When I settle into an overnight flight on a heavy I want to know the airline has taken every option to get me safely to my destination. Play games with cars if you must, they can park beside the road.

Flight Level
Reply to  Ron Long
February 28, 2021 12:48 pm

Oh Ron…
One of the most memorable of many full-feature yellings by a steam gauges grumpy old training Capt. (yes, capital “C” Sir !) sounded about:
-“You might like to drink their whiskey, hold their wives, smoke their cigars but nothing of that is gonna happen on my board. Pax don’t pay you for the privilege to share the outcomes of your professional incompetence and better believe it, I’ll make sure it all happens my way !”

That’s why now, all those who come to lecture us on “environmental impact” sound in comparison like chihuahuas in heat.

Russ R.
February 28, 2021 10:32 am

Let them eat Cake!
Burning food for ideological rationalizations is not a problem for Liberals. It is wasted on the pheasants who don’t support a more restrictive agenda.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Russ R.
February 28, 2021 10:51 am


Russ R.
Reply to  Rory Forbes
February 28, 2021 11:32 am

I like pheasants 😉
Especially when they have plenty to eat, and are not starved out to make ethanol for fuel. I have not had one in a very long time. Could be my subconscious is telling me, it is time to get back to old traditions that have been left behind.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Russ R.
February 28, 2021 12:30 pm

Well, OK then. That explains that. 🙂

Reply to  Russ R.
February 28, 2021 10:58 am

I like pheasants, they are yummy.

Steve Case
February 28, 2021 10:34 am

Using the nation’s corn crop to fill up our gas tanks is a crime against humanity.

Kevin R.
Reply to  Steve Case
March 1, 2021 12:41 pm

Crimes against humanity. That sums up the Left. Crime on a social scale is what they do.

February 28, 2021 10:40 am

More unintended consequences from the “shoot, ready, aim” ecoterrorists. Like all the other attempts at fulfilling the “Green” mantra the poor suffer the most. India is the only country I’m aware of that has raised the alarm and called out and censured the ecoterrorists to the point of banning them.

Reply to  markl
February 28, 2021 11:00 am

If they actually cared about the poor, they would stop these policies once they saw how badly the poor have been hurt by them.
Not only have they not stopped their stupidity, they are increasing it.

Just more evidence that progressives only say that they care about the poor. In reality they only use the poor to gain more power for themselves.

Steve Case
Reply to  MarkW
February 28, 2021 12:39 pm

“In reality they only use the poor to gain more power for themselves.”

Bingo! “Progressives” need a constituency to vote themselves into office. That’s why they create laws and regulations that create poor people and keep them that way. Don’t listen to what they say, watch what they do.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  MarkW
February 28, 2021 6:33 pm

They want the poor of the third world to die
Golden rice
Crap useless power sources
No DDT for malaria
Subsistence farming

Eventually there will need to be climate change POLICY crimes against humanity trials.
I propose they be held in the poorest country in Africa with suitable poor and starving locals as judge, jury and executioner.
Likely need to bring Tommy Wils prediction to fruition.

These people are awful and deserve whatever they get

H. D. Hoese
February 28, 2021 10:50 am

I have been a long time subscriber of Wooden Boat, the magazine for wooden boat owners, builders, and designers. Despite considerable use of to be forbidden preservation substances, it has stayed non-political, government subsidies not evident. With occasional articles about biofuel driven steam boats, pick up your fuel along the way, but generally except for some coastlines, there is neither much biofuel nor water in deserts for such.

The last issue had two letters chiding them for encouraging speed in the era of climate change, and an article on a Maine outboard powered catamaran considered converting it to electric. “These batteries are $5,200 each, which would add more than $20,000 to the boat’s cost.” This would also cut available travel time from 9 or 10 down to 1 to 6 hours, interesting if you are in a hurry. It ended with the usual electric car hope about batteries. Sailboats have the same problem as windmills, but you would be usually safer than in a much heavier electric one.

Reply to  H. D. Hoese
February 28, 2021 3:29 pm

What about weight. Four batteries must weigh more than four outboards. Not good for a weight sensitive catamaran.

William Astley
February 28, 2021 10:51 am

The Biofuel scam is sneaky Nazi Green evil.

Is there any single honest/knowledgeable Environmentalists or News Sources in the world?

The Biofuel scam would work if there was another planet where humans did not live, where food can be grown to convert to biofuel without damaging and depleting the fix amount of soil available.

Growing something and then either eating eat what is grown or burning what is grown….

And then replanting what is grown and doing it all again. Will over time completely deplete the minerals from the soil and will result in soil loss.

The Biofuel scam causes massive environmental damage, in third world countries, makes food more expensive or results in starvation, and it does not stop climate change or reduce CO2 emissions.

….and that imaginary planet, had unlimited CO2 ‘free’ energy to convert the food to biofuel and transport the fuel.

There is no significant reduction in CO2 emissions ……… if honest accounting is done.

And there is limited amount of land to grow food and cutting down virgin forest destroy habituate for wild life.

The Green Nazi have removed the articles…. That were written a decade ago about the Biofuel scam…


The Clean Energy Scam
The U.S. quintupled its production of ethanol–ethyl alcohol, a fuel distilled from plant matter–in the past decade, and Washington has just mandated another fivefold increase in renewable fuels over the next decade. Europe has similarly aggressive biofuel mandates and subsidies, and Brazil’s filling stations no longer even offer plain gasoline. Worldwide investment in biofuels rose from $5 billion in 1995 to $38 billion in 2005 and is expected to top $100 billion by 2010, thanks to investors like Richard Branson and George Soros, GE and BP, Ford and Shell, Cargill and the Carlyle Group.

But several new studies show the biofuel boom is doing exactly the opposite of what its proponents intended: it’s dramatically accelerating global warming, imperiling the planet in the name of saving it. Corn ethanol, always environmentally suspect, turns out to be environmentally disastrous. Even cellulosic ethanol made from switchgrass, which has been promoted by eco-activists and eco-investors as well as by President Bush as the fuel of the future, looks less green than oil-derived gasoline.
Biofuels ‘crime against humanity’

Massive production of biofuels is “a crime against humanity” because of its impact on global food prices, a UN official has told German radio. “Producing biofuels today is a crime against humanity,” UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food Jean Ziegler told Bayerischer Runfunk radio.

Many observers have warned that using arable land to produce crops for biofuels has reduced surfaces available to grow food. Mr Ziegler called on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to change its policies on agricultural subsidies and to stop supporting only programs aimed at debt reduction.

He says agriculture should also be subsidised in regions where it ensures the survival of local populations. Meanwhile, in response to a call by the IMF and World Bank over the weekend to a food crisis that is stoking violence and political instability, German Foreign Minister Peer Steinbrueck gave his tacit backing.
Prime Indonesian jungle to be cleared for palm oil
Their former hero recently gave a palm oil company a permit to develop land in one of the few places on earth where orangutans, tigers and bears still can be found living side-by-side — violating Indonesia’s new moratorium on concessions in primary forests and peatlands.

Biofuels ‘crime against humanity’
Massive production of biofuels is “a crime against humanity” because of its impact on global food prices, a UN official has told German radio. “Producing biofuels today is a crime against humanity,” UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food Jean Ziegler told Bayerischer Runfunk radio. Many observers have warned that using arable land to produce crops for biofuels has reduced surfaces available to grow food. Mr Ziegler called on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to change its policies on agricultural

Reply to  William Astley
February 28, 2021 11:22 am

Al Gore is also against palm oil. He always found massage oil to be more to his chakras’ liking.

Rud Istvan
February 28, 2021 10:52 am

There is a huge difference been biofuel kerosene and corn based ethanol gasoline additive.
Ethanol replaced groundwater polluting MBTE as an octane enhancer. It has the added benefit of being a smog lowering oxygenate. The 10% blendwall was set by LA basin in summer. That is why gas pumps say ‘up to 10%’—varies by season and region. And although about 42% of the US corn crop is devoted to ethanol, the impact on food is MUCH less, because the 43% returns a protein enhanced (from the yeast) ideal ruminant supplemental feed stock called distillers grain. On my Wisconsin dairy farm, we sell all the corn for ethanol, buy back the distillers grain to supplement alfalfa, and so can cut back alfalfa planting in favor of more corn. Net net is more lower cost milk and NO food price impact.

None of that is true with biofuel kerosene JP4, a fools errand.

Joseph Campbell
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 28, 2021 11:30 am

Ethanol has two-thirds of the energy per unit volume than gasoline. Its use as a fuel is poor: it produces more CO2 than gasoline to do the same job. That is, if the “job” is to move a car a given distance, more CO2 will be produced from combusting ethanol then that from gasoline to do the same job. It also “sops-up” water from the atmosphere causing real problems in fuel systems, etc.. This is “subsidy-searching”, pure and simple…

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 28, 2021 2:21 pm

Rud, you are confused.. and being made a fool of.

You ‘buy back’ the grains you say?

They are making a clown of you – you are paying good money for something that is an epic and otherwise costly Waste Problem for them.
You are their Dream Come True. A perfect sucker.

Cows of any sort don’t need any great amount of protein.
If you do feed them extra, they will burn it for energy. So that’s a waste of time.

It also stands a very good chance of upsetting their stomachs and entire metabolisms from the extra sulphur that coming in.
The sulphur also can and will upset their copper chemistry.

Also the extra fibre coming from the grains will tend to remove, as fibre does, useful water soluble nutrients. Sodium, magnesium, copper, iodine, selenium etc etc

And corn contains virtually nil of all those things. It is a near perfect nutrient-free food.

To some extent cows can handle that, they have a system in their rear-ends for wringing as much water out of their poo as they possibly can.

But anyway, ow big are your veterinary bills Rud?
Especially since you started feeding grains.

(We see the high fibre problem in humans. We don’t have the same rear-ends as cows and when we eat fibre it carries huge amounts of nutrient right out of us.
So we become ill.
Cue Paul Simon: Hello Covid my old friend, I’ve come to catch you yet again….)

Cows, especially Dairy Cows are Sugar Eaters.
Sugar is their primary food and in a normal world, they get it from selectively plucking the leaves from the stalks of grass plants.
They do this with their big raspy tongues.
The leaves are the Sugar Factories of the grass plants, of all plants.
Cows do everything they can to avoid eating fibre.
Yet here you are force feeding them this negative-nutrient and believing you are doing good.
Total fail.

They use the sugar to make fat – THE raison d’etre of Dairy Cows.
They turn sugar into fat which they express in their milk.
Any protein they want is exactly the right kind that they need, manufactured by carefully selected bacteria in their stomach. Putting extra protein into there upsets everything for them.

Yes you are upsetting the Price of Food – Magical Thinking tells you otherwise.

Where you grow corn could be growing perennial grass – EXACTLY what cows should be eating and cows are exactly what we should be eating
The grass stalks left by the cows will become paddled into the ground by the cows themselves, increasing soil organics, capturing carbon and via the increased soil moisture, moderating the climate

Growing corn and burning it does exactly the opposite

Last edited 1 year ago by Peta of Newark
Sweet Old Bob
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 28, 2021 4:48 pm

Peta ,how large of a herd do you run ?
The ranchers in my area would laugh you to scorn .
You seem to know a lot about some things , but ranching doesn’t seem to be one of them .

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 28, 2021 7:28 pm

Peta, I will try to be polite in response. You really need to know more. And opine less. You know nothing of the 42% corn/27% distillers grain tradeback. i explained it for my farm. Have you ever farmed? I have never gone broke farming….
I have owned my Wisconsin dairy farm for now 37 years. My tenant conjoins it by lease with others so that effectively we are working over 600 acres, me being the majority acreage. That puts us in the largest 25% of Wisconsin dairy farms by acreage or by cows, which are themselves the most productive in the world thanks to Wisconsin climate.

So what do you know about that complex multimillion dollar per year farming business subject that you do but I do not?

Steve Case
Reply to  Rud Istvan
March 1, 2021 12:51 am

Make the damn ethanol from petroleum!

On a short search on “ethanol from petroleum” the first one up says:

Much of the ethanol produced in the world is actually a petroleum product. It is easily made by the hydrolysis of ethylene, a major petrochemical. Two million tons of petroleum-derived ethanol is produced annually.

Take your propaganda and cram it.

CD in Wisconsin
February 28, 2021 10:58 am

It never ceases to amaze me how the Left and their eco-activist political allies enact laws or policies that drive up the cost of food and energy for the poor and then get away with claiming to be champions for the poor at the same time. As far as I am concerned, politicians (on both sides of the political spectrum) who manifest such hypocrisy deserve neither a place in govt nor the respect of the people.

Steve Case
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
February 28, 2021 12:44 pm

It never ceases to amaze me how the Left and their eco-activist political allies enact laws or policies that drive up the cost of food and energy for the poor and then get away with claiming to be champions for the poor at the same time.

Poor people are their constituency, they need a lot of them to get voted into office.

Joseph Zorzin
February 28, 2021 11:02 am
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
February 28, 2021 11:42 am

A problem with most of these schemes is that the carbon in such feedstocks is already partially oxidized on its way to becoming CO2. In order to boost energy density, and to improve physical properties, such as freeze point, this oxygen must be removed to make viable liquid fuel products.

A number of companies have gone down this route using public funding. Kior is one particularly egregious example that went through at least $1 billion of guaranteed loans before it failed, except for paying out to certain investors, executives, lobbyists and politicians.

Kevin kilty
February 28, 2021 11:12 am

I was asked to give a talk at a nearby college in 2007 about renewable energy. I looked pretty thoroughly at biofuels. I figured that it would take two states the size of Wyoming, planted in fermentable grains like corn, in order to supply one-half of U.S. transportation fuel demands. Wow. Just think of the other issues involved: like, the best crop land is already devoted to raising crops, so we will be harnessing marginal ground which will require larger than average inputs — water, fertilizer, mechanical work, etc.

I labelled it a looming environmental disaster.

Reply to  Kevin kilty
February 28, 2021 12:03 pm

U.S. DOE has done a series of reports on a billion tons of dry biomass feed which is enough to displace about 30% of the U.S. transportation fuel needs. It’s just not economical (my summary).

Last edited 1 year ago by Scissor
Reply to  Kevin kilty
February 28, 2021 1:05 pm

The children say they just gotta’ have it.

February 28, 2021 12:24 pm

Joey is a well known bio-fuels expert,but….why not bring in other renowned experts? Dr. Billy Gates….Jeffy Bezos….Zuck…Al Gore…Virgin Branson…Markie Cuban…El Musk…..and others?

Last edited 1 year ago by Anti_griff
Reply to  Anti_griff
February 28, 2021 12:42 pm

Yeah, then he can spend more time on his cure for cancer.

Stephen Skinner
February 28, 2021 12:26 pm

Aviation is a big fat NON-ISSUE. It has only been made a big issue by someone saying it is. That doesn’t make it so.

February 28, 2021 12:33 pm

Brazil produces 2 sugar cane crops per year and sugar cane is more productive for alcohol than corn……and there is also sugar from the crops which can be varied according to demand….if oil prices are high….Brazil may be a winner.

February 28, 2021 12:58 pm

“…when it became clear how much harm biofuel mandates were causing.”

With these people in power, it is like Groundhog Day over and over again, where the common people suffer the consequences:

“We didn’t fully appreciate the fact that one of the things Gaddafi had done over the years was to make sure that there was no possible rival to his power. And as a result, there was no effective bureaucracy, no effective administration in Libya with which to work when he was gone,” Blinken argued.

They will admit ignorance after the fact (when it is obvious to all) but have no ability to see themselves as ignorant before they decide to do something.


“Much of the history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.” – Thomas Sowell


February 28, 2021 1:27 pm

Translation: We’ll play along with your climate game if you bail us out with taxpayer borrowed money for another $500 billion. Fair is fair with other peoples money. Besides those saps will have to work harder and fly more to pay the bills. Where do we sign?

February 28, 2021 2:20 pm

British company’s Spirit of Innovation electric aircraft taxies out for first time ahead of world speed bid
“Spirit of Innovation’s record attempt, four 3km runs in a single flight from which an average speed will be determined, is set to take place off the Welsh coast in the late spring
However, the project has a relatively tiny budget of £6.4m, half of which is being funded by the state-backed Aerospace Technology Institute. By comparison, as a rule of thumb it takes about £1bn and 10 years to develop a new jet engine..”

Last edited 1 year ago by Vuk
Paul C
Reply to  Vuk
February 28, 2021 4:21 pm

Other propeller driven planes were flying faster 80 years ago, and having dogfights, shooting at each other to boot. Why do they mention jet engines when this is propeller driven – might as well mention rocket motors or ion drive for that matter. Biofuels are preferable to battery power for aircraft. The empty battery when you’re landing weighs just the same as the full one at takeoff.

Reply to  Paul C
March 1, 2021 5:52 am

I’m reminded of the biplane used in the movie It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.

Reply to  Vuk
February 28, 2021 10:44 pm

“is set to take place off the Welsh coast”

Another “FAILED IN WALES” job then!

Wales the land of unending subsidies.

Peta of Newark
February 28, 2021 2:35 pm

Burning Biomass is going to condemn EVERY last one of us, nigh on 8 Billion and counting, to Life on Mars.

February 28, 2021 4:44 pm

President Trump was amazing at his state of the union speech at CPAC!

Reply to  john
February 28, 2021 4:46 pm

Joe Who?

February 28, 2021 5:00 pm

Levees, not levies.

Andre Thomas Lewis
February 28, 2021 5:15 pm

Start checking how much stock in biofuel companies Biden, Kerry and their families are buying up.

February 28, 2021 8:30 pm

and just think…. we’re only 6 weeks in with at least 202 weeks to go (at least for the camel administration anyway)…. OMG!!!

March 1, 2021 12:47 am

Corn subsidies for ethanol and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS aka poison) are destroying the environment, hurting the poor with higher food prices, and severely damaging the health of 100+ million Americans.

Excessive corn production requires inordinate amounts of nitrogen fertilizer which adversely affects river and ocean biospheres, excessive corn acreage decreases supply of other food crops which increase food prices and hurts the poor the most, corn depletes soil fertility, 35% of Americans have prediabetes or actual diabetes, and also 43% are obese, largely because of massive consumption of HFCS, which is in everything,,. It is disgusting stuff.

Corn-derived ethanol is a complete scam as it requires more energy to grow, harvest, process and transport than the energy it produces…

The only reason corn subsidies exist is for both parties to buy the agricultural vote…

March 1, 2021 5:52 am

It seems that the film “Idiocracy” was not fiction, it was a prediction.

Steve Z
March 1, 2021 12:13 pm

For some reason, the writer conflates biofuels for the aviation industry with ethanol in gasoline.

Most large aircraft are powered by refined kerosene, not gasoline, and no ethanol is ever added to jet fuel–it is much too volatile.

Kerosene from petroleum usually has boiling points between 330 and 500 F, while gasoline generally boils between 100 F and 300 F. Ethanol boils at about 144 F.

The reason why aircraft manufacturers prefer burning kerosene is that if gasoline was stored in fixed-roof tanks at airports, a flammable mixture could form above the liquid level as the tank was emptied, and air rushing in to fill the vacuum would form a flammable mixture.

Kerosene has a higher Flash Point (the minimum temperature for spontaneous combustion of a flammable mixture) than gasoline, which is well above normal outdoor temperatures. However, its freezing point is still low enough that it will not freeze in the fuel tanks at -50 F, at the typical altitudes where jets fly.

Biofuels used to replace either jet fuel or diesel fuel usually come from triglycerides in plant oil or animal fats (some of which are waste products from cooking in restaurants or butchers), which can be reacted to form glycerin and fatty acids. Fatty acids can then be hydrotreated to remove oxygen (forming water), and the remaining carbon chains become the biofuel.

Raw biofuel from these reactions will contain carbon chains of differing lengths, so they have to be distilled into “bio-jet” (boiling in the kerosene range) and “bio-diesel” boiling in the diesel range (about 500 to 680 F).

Bio-jet and bio-diesel are more expensive to produce than the same fuels from petroleum, but the main problem is the supply of raw materials. Although waste cooking oil or fat from slaughtered livestock may seem like a plentiful source, there is the problem of gathering such raw materials from restaurants or butcheries, and transporting them (likely by truck, which burns diesel) to a central processing location. The sources usually have to be paid for the trouble of segregating used cooking oil or animal fat from other trash.

There are natural limits to how much bio-jet or bio-diesel can be produced, but converting used cooking oil or animal fat to bio-fuels would NOT disrupt the food supply.

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