London, Oct 27 : The Boeing Company, which is a major aerospace and defense corporation, has said that biofuel-powered aircraft could be carrying millions of passengers around the world within three years.
According to a report in the Guardian, Darrin Morgan, an environmental expert at the US jet manufacturer, said that the group was expecting official approval of biofuel use in the near future.
"The certification will happen much sooner than anybody thought," he said. "We are thinking that within three to five years, we are going to see approval for commercial use of biofuels - and possibly sooner," he added.
Morgan added that the aircraft will not require modification to operate on a blend of biofuel and kerosene.
However, harvesting enough plant material to meet the industry's needs is the biggest barrier to mass use of biofuels, according to Boeing.
Fuelling the world's 13,000 commercial planes with soya bean-based fuel, for example, would require setting aside the equivalent of the entire land mass of Europe for soya bean production.
"No technology change is needed from an engine or airframe point of view," Morgan said. "It's about availability of the biomass," he added.
Boeing expects planes to operate on a 30 percent blend of biofuel. It also believes they could operate on a 100 percent blend.
Biofuels are good for the environment because their ingredients absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while they are grown, which balances out the carbon dioxide that is released when the fuel is burned.