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Planes of the future could fly on sawdust or straw

Published on Sep 19, 2012 11:18 PM

TOULOUSE, France (REUTERS) - Passenger jets could be chomping on straw or flying on fuel extracted from sawdust in coming years as the search widens for cleaner alternatives to kerosene, French scientists say.

The "ProBio3" project, started in early July and co-financed by a French government economic stimulus programme, aims to use traditional horse-bedding materials to develop a new kind of biofuel that can be used in a 50/50 blend alongside kerosene.

"Tomorrow, planes will fly using agricultural and forest waste," said Ms Carole Molina-Jouve, a professor at Toulouse's National Institute of Applied Sciences , who is coordinating the ProBio3 project.

"We already know how to set up a basic production line but we must move towards an industrial line," she said. "We need to translate what is done in laboratories to the real environment while improving its profitability and efficiency."

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