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Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves by Ed Regis, George Church

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CHAPTER 4

-360 MYR, CARBONIFEROUS

“The Best Substitute for Petroleum Is Petroleum”

On Sunday, February 24, 2008, a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 flew from London to Amsterdam with a blend of 20 percent biofuel and 80 percent standard Jet-A in one of its fuel tanks. It was a short trip, only 221 miles, and lasted only 70 minutes; moreover, as a demonstration flight the plane carried no paying passengers. Nevertheless, this was the first flight by a commercial airliner that was powered in part by biofuel (in this case a mix of coconut and babassu nut oils). Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Atlantic Airlines as well as Virgin Fuels, called the flight ...

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