Eucalyptus trees could power your next flight

First published on – July 16th, 2014

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash



ucalyptus trees could power your next flight

Bushfire season in Australia evokes powerful images of ferocious blazes destroying everything in sight. Australians have learned a lot about living with bushfires. They are incredibly hot, uncontrollable, dangerous – wouldn’t it be good if this knowledge could be used for gain?

Now the very thing that causes the intensity in the summer bushfires is being studied to fuel something else: passenger jets. Imagine flying with the power of a bushfire beneath your wings.

The genome of the iconic Australian eucalypt has been sequenced and the data will be made freely available as part of an international project to harness the superpowers of the species that grows easily through much of the world (in some places as pests).

Eucalyptus trees are already used for many things including hardwood products such as furniture and power poles, and pulp materials (paper, cellulose). The traditional medicinal market is only growing with the inclusion of eucalyptus in aromatic uses and consumer pharmaceuticals...