Planes Will Start Running On Biofuels From Fallen Trees In Two Years

Now here’s some welcome innovation in the airline industry. Southwest Airlines announced today that it will be using biofuel on several of its flights by 2016, purchasing the blended fuel from a Colorado company that salvages “140,000 dry tons of woody biomass feedstock” per year — fallen timber from local forests that might otherwise serve as fuel for wildfires.

Scientists Engineer E. Coli To Make Propane

E. coli is an exceedingly common bacteria that lives in many places including your very own gut. It’s also a favourite organism for synthetic biologists looking to engineer useful microbes. By inserting just a few genes in E. coli, scientists have found they can coax the bacterium into making ready-to-use propane.

Volkswagen Has A Fuel-Sipping 10-Speed Gearbox Now

Keeping your revs down is vital to saving fuel, and nobody knows that better than Volkswagen: the German automaker has introduced the world’s-first 10-speed gearbox to help you be a miser when it comes to petrol.

Australia's Fuel Tax To Increase Twice A Year From August 1st

Ready to pay more for your petrol? As widely expected, the Australian Government is set to increase the fuel excise in line with inflation twice a year. The government says this will generate $2.2 billion over the first four years — and be directly tied to fund upcoming major road projects.

The US Navy's Huge, Hidden Problem: Barnacles On Ships

It’s a problem as old as sailing itself. Ever since man set out sea, barnacles have been clinging like, well, barnacles to ships, growing into bumpy masses that slows down vessels and wastes fuel. Could the solution to this age-old dilemma be a new coat of special paint? It’s not as simple as it sounds.

Solar Jet Fuel Has Been Created For The First Time

Maybe we won’t suck up all of Earth’s resources and destroy our planet just yet. Scientists say that they have created solar jet fuel using just sunlight, water and carbon dioxide for the very first time. That’s basically creating fuel from thin air.

Astronauts Can Power Their Bodies And Spacecraft With Pee

Astronauts have been able to drink their own (treated and filtered) urine for years, but scientists have managed to squeeze one more benefit out of an inevitable byproduct thanks to a new technique. Now, astronauts can use their urine to keep both their bodies and their spaceships running smoothly.

An RC Plane That Flies On Seawater Fuel

It’s been almost a year and a half since we first reported on the US Navy’s plans to produce cheap liquid fuel from seawater. And, as a proof of concept, the unmodified two-stroke engine in this P-51 Mustang remote control model plane was recently powered using the new liquid fuel instead of traditional petrol.

Scientists Have Created Bio-Rocket Fuel

For those of you concerned that rockets, jet fighters and the like aren’t environmentally friendly, some good news: scientists have worked out how to use bacteria to create rocket fuel.

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