Biofuels successfully trialled in flights from Brisbane Airport
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Biofuels successfully trialled in flights from Brisbane Airport

Brisbane Airport has sucessfully trialled biofuels - jet fuel made from sugar and wood products - in 195 flights that have flown more 430,000 kilometres.

The trial opens the door to a potential multi-million dollar industry where Queensland could supply biofuels to the US Navy and to Australian and south-east Asian airports.

Virgin Australia group executive Rob Sharp, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and State Development Minister Cameron Dick at Brisbane Airport.

Virgin Australia group executive Rob Sharp, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and State Development Minister Cameron Dick at Brisbane Airport.Credit:Darren England/AAP

The successful trial was revealed on Tuesday by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, State Development Minister Cameron Dick and project partner Rob Sharp from Virgin Australia.

Biofuels burn with 80 per cent less carbon emissions than conventional hydrocarbon jet fuels.

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Mr Dick said the trigger for growth was that the world's aviation industry had to cap carbon emissions by 2020 "and to then reduce them".

Virgin Australia has been trialling biofuels since 2016 and announced a plan in 2017 to begin biofuel trial flights from Brisbane Airport.

Mr Dick said the trials proved there was potential industry to manufacture biofuels for aviation and the US Navy looming for Queensland, because the state already had biofuels produced at Sarina and near Dalby at pilot plants.

"If we can move it to the big supply chains and into civil aviation, if we can do that that will attract investment and we can move from pilot plants and demonstration plants to a full commercial refinery," he said.

Mr Dick said he believed that after the successful trial, used by several airlines after the biofuel was used in the airport's general fuel supply, Queensland would have its own biofuel "supply chain" by 2020.

He said about 50 per cent of flights could use biofuel, rather than hydrocarbon fuels and there was a potential for very large industry based in Queensland.

"There is a billion litres of fuel used at Brisbane Airport each year," Mr Dick said.

"There is eight billion litres of fuel used around Australia.

"Up to 50 per cent of that potentially could be biofuels, so there are hundreds of millions of dollars and billions of dollars potentially in investment in the cost of fuel that could come from the shift from hydrocarbon fuels to biofuels."

Mr Sharp said the biofuel used in the Brisbane trials had been imported from the United States.

He said the trials marked a "really important day."

"This is the first time that biofuel has been put into the general fuel system of aircraft at an airport in Australia, " he said.

"This is a first for Australia and we look forward to working with other airports to take this forward.

"It is the single largest opportunity to establish  a biofuel industry here in Queensland."

Ms Palaszczuk said the concept of using biofuels in the aviation industry was a "concept" her government started pushing in 2016.

"We also know that if we have this demand, then we can look at the supply chain and the supply chain is critical to encourage our regional communities to get involved and start producing the supply to meet the demand," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"We know the US Navy is very keen for us to do supply as well so that is why we are driving this industry.

"Its like a brand new industry, like LNG (liquid natural gas) was. This is another new industry my government is backing."