12 of 25
12. Energy: Jet fuel
Energy: Jet fuel
Myth: Soon jets will run on biofuels, enabling us to fly guilt-free.

Reality: Time to come down to earth.

It is true that Richard Branson, president of Virgin Air, ran one of his passenger jets on an 80-20 mix of jet fuel and a special biofuel made from coconut oil and babassu nut oil.

Is it a solution? Branson said he did it just to show it could be done. But don't expect the most common biofuel -- corn ethanol -- to be firing up 777s anytime soon.

Ethanol provides roughly a third less energy per gallon than jet fuel. No problem. Just add a bigger fuel tank, right? But that adds more weight, which means you need to design a bigger, stronger plane, which in turn needs more fuel to travel the same range. This vicious cycle means that ethanol isn't practical.

Airlines have been testing fuels made from jatropha and palm oils, but those fuels remain expensive and lack the hydrocarbon rings that interact with the seals in current engines, helping swell them shut -- not ideal if you happen to be a passenger on the plane. -- Brian Dumaine

NEXT: Energy: Alternative sources of energy
Last updated March 26 2010: 6:04 PM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
50 years of the Ford Mustang Take a drive down memory lane with our favorite photos of the car through the years. More
8 CEOs who took a pay cut in 2013 Median CEO pay inched up 9% in 2013 to $13.9 million. But not everyone got a bump last year. Here are eight CEOs who missed out. More
10 best convertibles now that spring has sprung It's finally time to put the top down. Here are our 10 favorite rides for the warmer months to come. More
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.