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NEWS: Branson And Virgin Blue To Fly "Green" Fuel

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posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 02:49 PM
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Virgin Airways magnate Richard Branson has announced he is tired of skyrocketing jet fuel prices and is turning his back on hydrocarbons to try alternative fuels. Plans being looked at include "cellulosic ethanol" which is derived from waste products of plants. Bransons feels that the 100 percent environmentally friendly method will replace conventional fuel over the next 20 years and is hoping to replace some or all of the conventional fuel within 6 years.
 



www.abc.net.au


Mr Branson did not say where Virgin would build its factories or how economically viable cellulosic ethanol would prove.

"We are in the early days," he admitted.

He says cellulosic ethanol "is the by-product you get from the waste product (of plants), the bits in the field that get burned up" as opposed to ethanol, which is produced from fruit or corn for example.

"We use around 700 million gallons of fuel a year between the four airlines," he said.




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This is groundbreaking. I don't think it will be long before other large companies that rely on fuel will follow suit. This idea sound better and cheaper in some ways than standard ethanol production.

The conventional fuel companies will not be impressed if these large companies leave in droves and perhaps more news like this may drive fuel prices down not up in the effort to keep customers.

Related News Links:
www.newkerala.com
www.virgin.com
www.virgin.com




posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 02:58 PM
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I would say this is more of a bluff, or threat to oil companies. I would doubt that any businessman would actually make the switch, mainly because such alternative are still more expensive.



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 03:04 PM
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Yes but that is a debatable matter. According to reports by some Europeon companies using biofuel the pump price can be as much as 50 percent cheaper for the biofuels. I remember a Dutch story I did on atsnn and I will find a link that said that standard fuel was 1.20 at the pump and biofuel was .65c.

If it can be done on a large scale by Branson for a cheaper price, then in fact he will be well on the way to create a monopoly in alternative fuel production. He is already in the space race in a big way and the airways so if he produces his own fuel cheaper than whats on offer, he will win win all the way.


edit-- I was slightly out its 1.24 for conventional and 65 c for biofuels

www.atsnn.com...

The Biofuel is sold at a price of .65 cents PL in one service station which also sell the crude oil diesel at $1.24 per litre. Tax incentives will be introduced to farmers to raise acreage under the rapeseed which currently does not have enough land available to keep up with the rising demand.






[edit on 16-11-2005 by Mayet]



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 03:11 PM
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Originally posted by Disturbed Deliverer
I would say this is more of a bluff, or threat to oil companies. I would doubt that any businessman would actually make the switch, mainly because such alternative are still more expensive.


I have to respectively disagree with you on that one.

Do you know the history of the man we are talking about? He is a maverick, a cowboy, a rebel. He will offer SPACE travel to people willing to pay for it. He is known for groundbreaking deals, and outrageous ideas. He would be the most logical choice of a business man to give the oil companies the “BUSINESS”.


en.wikipedia.org...

Branson is known for his outlandish exploits used to promote his businesses, Branson is keen on playful antagonisms, exemplified by his "Mine is bigger than yours" decals on the new Airbus A340-600 jets used by his airline.

He has also made several unsuccessful attempts to fly in a hot air balloon around the world.


The hot air balloon, called the "Virgin Atlantic Flyer," was the first hot air balloon ever to cross the Atlantic Ocean, and was the largest ever flown at 60.513 m³ (2,137,000 ft³) volume, reaching speeds in excess of 130 mph (209 km/h).


In 1991, Branson crossed the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Arctic Canada, a distance of 7,672 km (4,767 miles), but their track took them a claimed 10,885 km. This again broke all existing records with speeds of up to 245 mph (394 km/h) in a balloon measuring 2.6 million cubic feet (74,000 m³).


After the so-called campaign of "dirty tricks," Branson sued rival airline British Airways for libel in 1992. King countersued Branson, and the case went to trial in 1993. British Airways, faced with likely defeat, settled the case, giving £500,000 to Branson and a further £110,000 to his airline; further, BA was to pay the legal fees of up to £3 million. Branson divided his compensation among his staff, the so-called "BA bonus."


In July 2003, Branson flew a replica of the first heavier-than-air flying machine, the glider designed by Sir George Cayley, at the original site in Yorkshire


In October 2003, he teamed up with balloonist Steve Fossett as lead sponsor for an attempt to break the record for a non-stop flight around the world. A new aircraft, the GlobalFlyer, was built specially for the attempt by Scaled Composites and on March 3, 2005, at about 01:50 PM CST, Fossett completed the record-breaking flight after 67 hours and 1 minute, with an average speed of nearly 300 mph (480 km/h).


On September 25, 2004 he announced the signing of a deal under which a new space tourism company, Virgin Galactic, will license the technology behind SpaceShipOne to take paying passengers into suborbital space. The group plans to make flights available to the public by late 2007 with tickets priced at $200,000.


Branson has been tagged as a 'transformational leader' by management lexicon, with his maverick strategies and his stress on the Virgin Group as an organization driven on informality and information, one that's bottom heavy rather than strangled by top-level management.
Branson was 7th in the Sunday Times Rich List 2005.


If anybody could do it…he could!

- One Man Short



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 03:12 PM
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It will probably take years before we see this fuel in use. Safety is a primary concern when it comes to airtravel so it needs to be tested, retested and tested again and again until it proves it is worthy.

It is bad enough when ethanol fouls up a car engine, imagine what it could do to an aircraft. Thank you but no thank you until you prove it is safe.

[edit on 11/16/2005 by shots]



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 03:12 PM
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Is it really possible to just replace jet fuel with ethanol? I thought you needed specially designed engines to use it beyond like 10% composition in cars, and I'd think a jet engine would be even more sensitive to a change in fuel.

Maybe one of our resident aircraft experts can answer this...



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 03:16 PM
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Yes but that is a debatable matter. According to reports by some Europeon companies using biofuel the pump price can be as much as 50 percent cheaper for the biofuels. I remember a Dutch story I did on atsnn and I will find a link that said that standard fuel was 1.20 at the pump and biofuel was .65c.


There are numerous factors here that could result in such prices. For one, most European nations jack up the prices of their oil in the first place. Not sure what the case specifically here is.



Do you know the history of the man we are talking about? He is a maverick, a cowboy, a rebel. He will offer SPACE travel to people willing to pay for it. He is known for groundbreaking deals, and outrageous ideas. He would be the most logical choice of a business man to give the oil companies the “BUSINESS”.


I would say this is a lot of wishful thinking without much backing it up. It's a lot of nice rhetoric, but there's not much substance behind it as far as I can see.

This is a matter of pure economics. If the alternative is going to cost more, it does him no good, and oil no harm.



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 03:16 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
Is it really possible to just replace jet fuel with ethanol? I thought you needed specially designed engines to use it beyond like 10% composition in cars, and I'd think a jet engine would be even more sensitive to a change in fuel.

Maybe one of our resident aircraft experts can answer this...


I believe you do need "special engines" to handle 100% eth or even bio-eth.

That is where the money will come in, getting Pratt and Whitney or Rolls Royce to design new engines, and then retro fitting all aircraft with the new engines.

Expensive? You bet

Cheaper over the long haul than depending on middle east oil barrons? You Bet!

- One Man Short



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 03:17 PM
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I actually thought that jet fuel did have a high quantity of ethanol.

*wanders off to google and waits a fuel experts reply.



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 03:22 PM
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Originally posted by Mayet
I actually thought that jet fuel did have a high quantity of ethanol.

*wanders off to google and waits a fuel experts reply.


Ummm...no.

"the primary ingredient of both JP-5 and JP-8 is kerosene,and the composition of these fuels is basically the same as kerosene."

(printed from the PDF file that is posted on my home airports website)
The crude oil from which JP-5 and JP-8 are refined is derived from petroleum, tar sands, oil shale, or mixturesthereof (DOD 1992). Typical additives to JP-5 and JP-8 include antioxidants (including phenolic antioxidants),static inhibitors, corrosion inhibitors, fuel system icing inhibitors, lubrication improvers, biocides, and thermalstability improvers (DOD 1992; IARC 1989; Pearson 1988). These additives are used only in specifiedamounts, as governed by military specifications (DOD 1992; IARC 1989). Straight-run kerosene, the basiccomponent of the kerosene used for jet fuels, consists of hydrocarbons with carbon numbers mostly in the C9–C16range. Like all jet fuels, straight-run kerosene consists of a complex mixture of aliphatic and aromatichydrocarbons (LARC 1989). Aliphatic alkanes (paraffins) and cycloalkanes (naphthenes) are hydrogensaturated, clean burning, and chemically stable and together constitute the major part of kerosene (IARC1989). Aromatics comprise lo-20% and olefins less than 1% of the jet fuels

[edit on 16-11-2005 by One Man Short of Manhood]



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 03:22 PM
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Originally posted by Disturbed Deliverer
This is a matter of pure economics. If the alternative is going to cost more, it does him no good, and oil no harm.



If you produce something yourself in the long run it will be cheaper than buying.
Especially on the large scale we are talking here. The world is crying out for alternative fuels, he has the money to invest and the dangly bits to go out there and get it



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 03:26 PM
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Bransons a pretty cool guy for being rich i believe if he say's he's gonna do it he will.

Could be a very good thing if it cuts down on polution although to be honest probably to little to late and i doubt other company's would follow suit unless it pays of financially.

Will be intresting to see what happens anyway



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 03:26 PM
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Originally posted by One Man Short of Manhood

Originally posted by Mayet
I actually thought that jet fuel did have a high quantity of ethanol.

*wanders off to google and waits a fuel experts reply.


Ummm...no.

"the primary ingredient of both JP-5 and JP-8 is kerosene,and the composition of these fuels is basically the same as kerosene."


Ah see, my girl bits are coming out here. Im lucky to get the right fuel in at the pump...


I knew it was some stinky stuff that jet fuel had more of. My diesel 4wd always stinks kero like when I start it in the morning. I don't know much about the processes but if it can be done, it really is a fantastic move.



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 03:27 PM
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Oh it is coming people, and Branson is on the forefront:



www.beconnected.org...

The big news on the ethanol front is that the cellulosic or fiber-based refining process could change the shape of the entire industry. This process is complementary to regular corn-based ethanol, because it uses agricultural residues, such as, corn stover(stalks) or straw as its source. Even certain municipal wastes or fiber-rich grasses like switch grass can be used. Iogen Corporation, based in Ottawa, Canada, is currently in the lead with the largest testing facility. They expect to build the first commercially viable cellulosic ethanol plants in the next three to four years. Their long-term plan is to build new facilities in areas where transport of agricultural residues is most convenient. States in the American Midwest are likely to be choice candidates.



It already seems to be working north of the border:





www.ethanolrfa.org...

Currently, Iogen Corporation in Ottawa, Canada produces just over a million gallons annually of cellulose ethanol from wheat, oat and barley straw in their demonstration facility. Several existing ethanol plants in the U.S. are engaged in research and demonstration projects with the U.S. Department of Energy utilizing the existing fiber in their facility that typically goes into the livestock feed coproduct. Enzyme companies including Genencor International and Novozymes have led successful research projects with the Department to significantly reduce enzyme cost and increase enzyme life and durability.


Do the GOOGLE folks, there is plenty of info on this promising subject.

- One Man Short

[edit on 16-11-2005 by One Man Short of Manhood]



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 03:29 PM
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Originally posted by One Man Short of Manhood
The crude oil from which JP-5 and JP-8 are refined is derived from petroleum, tar sands, oil shale, or mixturesthereof (DOD 1992). Typical additives to JP-5 and JP-8 include antioxidants (including phenolic antioxidants),static inhibitors, corrosion inhibitors, fuel system icing inhibitors, lubrication improvers, biocides, and thermalstability improvers (DOD 1992; IARC 1989; Pearson 1988). These additives are used only in specifiedamounts, as governed by military specifications (DOD 1992; IARC 1989). Straight-run kerosene, the basiccomponent of the kerosene used for jet fuels, consists of hydrocarbons with carbon numbers mostly in the C9–C16range. Like all jet fuels, straight-run kerosene consists of a complex mixture of aliphatic and aromatichydrocarbons (LARC 1989). Aliphatic alkanes (paraffins) and cycloalkanes (naphthenes) are hydrogensaturated, clean burning, and chemically stable and together constitute the major part of kerosene (IARC1989). Aromatics comprise lo-20% and olefins less than 1% of the jet fuels


One man.... can you say that slowly again in English.



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 03:30 PM
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Originally posted by Mayet

Ah see, my girl bits are coming out here. Im lucky to get the right fuel in at the pump...




Hey thats alright


I am a boy and have been for quite a while and didn't know that bit of information until I became a Light Jet pilot and had to know that info for my test!

- One Man Short



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 03:30 PM
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Do the GOOGLE folks, there is plenty of info on this promising subject.


A lot of things sound promising if you just do a google search, especially on this subject. I'm going to remain skeptical until I see actual proof. Oil was, by all means, a miracle to man. Replacing such a thing won't be easy, and it won't be done for decades.



If you produce something yourself in the long run it will be cheaper than buying.
Especially on the large scale we are talking here. The world is crying out for alternative fuels, he has the money to invest and the dangly bits to go out there and get it


That's all assuming that, by throwing money at ethanol, it will suddenly become a better fuel. No amount of technology may make it cheap enough.



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 03:31 PM
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So he'd need a specially designed engine, plus special fuel available at every airport he goes to? Sorry, but that'd be just too expensive even for him, and his fleet is not large, compared to the large carriers.

This just isn't going to work with only him doing it IMHO.



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 03:40 PM
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I agree with every one for being skeptical. I am not an agent for "BioFuel USA" or anything, I just want an alternative when I fuel up my L-39 and I do think this is very viable.

I just filled the tanks in Ontario, California for a long trip east and I paid $4.97 per gallon AFTER volume discount!

djohnsto77, the only way this would economically fesible is if the engine companies get on board as well (Pratt & whitnery, RR ect) and Mr. Branson can very persuasive!

I do agree that jury will remain out on this one for quite awhile!


- One Man Short






[edit on 16-11-2005 by One Man Short of Manhood]



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 03:43 PM
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Run a turbine engine on corn oil, soybean oil, peanut oil, and ethanol, they run very fine.” However some are unusable in cold weather.

Thing about it what are the temperatures at 40,000 FT?



[edit on 11/16/2005 by shots]



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