New York, Aug 9 (IANS): This new tobacco plant will sure make smoke but the kind that comes from the exhaust of an aeroplane.
Boeing and South African Airways (SAA) are collaborating to make sustainable aviation bio-fuel from a new type of tobacco plant.
Known as solaris, the hybrid plant is a nicotine-free alternative to traditional tobacco.
Test farming has started in South Africa and bio-fuel production is expected in the next few years, said a Boeing press release.
Initially, oil from the the plant's seeds will be converted into jet fuel.
As newer technologies develop, the rest of the the plant will also be used to make aviation bio-fuel.
"By using hybrid tobacco, we can leverage knowledge of tobacco growers in South Africa to grow a marketable bio-fuel crop without encouraging smoking," Ian Cruickshank, a specialist with SAA's group environmental affairs, said.
In October 2013, Boeing and SAA had announced they would work together to develop a sustainable aviation bio-fuel in southern Africa.