22:10 GMT18 May 2021
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    Monday was a historic day for India’s aviation and energy sector as its first biofuel-powered flight took off from Dehradun to Delhi. With aviation turbine fuel prices going up and the rupee depreciating, Indian airliners hope to reduce fuel cost by using biofuel.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): India's first biofuel-powered aircraft successfully completed its test flight on Monday raising the prospects of early adoption of the sustainable alternative fuel by the country's aviation sector. 

    The 72-seater Bombardier Q400 (VT-SUI) that took off from the northern hill station of Dehradun landed safely in New Delhi after flawlessly completing the hour-long journey. 

    Dharmendra Pradhan, minister of petroleum and natural gas, received the flight at Terminal 2 of New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport. Nitin Gadkari, minister for road transport and highways, Suresh Prabhu, minister of commerce industry and civil aviation, Dr. Harshvardhan, minister of science and technology and Jayant Sinha, minister of state for civil aviation, were also present on the occasion.

    READ MORE: Sustainable Energy: Indian Refineries to Convert Waste Gases Into Liquid Fuel

    "On 10th August, Prime Minister announced the new biofuel policy and today we have successfully implemented it in the aviation sector. It is a big achievement in aviation and clean energy sector," Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said.

    Earlier in the day, the chief minister of Uttarakhand flagged off the flight at Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun.

    One of the plane's engines had a blend of biofuel (25 percent) and aviation turbine fuel (75 percent), whilst the other ran entirely on aviation turbine fuel.

    The biofuel was developed jointly by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and the Dehradun-based Indian Institute of Petroleum. 

    READ MORE: India to Curb Import Bill by Converting Surplus Food Grains Into Biofuel 

    The fuel is made of vegetable oil, sugar, animal fat and waste biomass, and it can directly be used in aircraft without any modifications.

    With its first successful biofuel-powered test flight, India has now joined the elite club of nations that have operated flights on alternative energy resources. US and Australia have already tested biofuel-powered aircraft.


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