French scientists developing new sawdust-based fuel

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PARIS, FRANCE – Who didn’t love the scene in “Back to the Future” when the DeLorean flies on garbage fuel? Way to go! Sooner or later it will happen. In the meantime, check out what the French are up to. We’re talking about science, of course: planes of the future that could be fueled on sawdust or straw.

The European company Airbus and the French government are searching for a cleaner and cheaper fuel than kerosene. So far, crop-based bio-fuels have been the alternative for aviation, but they have raised concerns over potential food shortages. So, researchers are switching to use straw-based materials or wood shavings as a source of fuel.

But don’t rush to trash your furniture. It doesn’t work that way. This fuel is still under development and needs a sophisticated lab to process the elements. Although scientists say they know how to produce it, they still need to find the way to mass produce it.

The United States, Brazil, France, Sweden, Germany and Russia are the leaders in bio-fuel research and production. It seems like everybody is trying to cut the chains of oil dependence that tie us up to the Middle East.

And who knows? One of these days the future might be arriving at an airport near you.