The first passenger flights in Africa to use biofuels flew between Cape Town and Johannesburg on July 15, 2016.
The fuel was derived from high-energy, nicotine-free plants tobacco plants cultivated in Limpopo Province, South Africa.
These are named "Solaris" plants by the Project Solaris group. The project, launched in 2014, is a collaboration between biochemists Sunchem, fuel experts SkyNRG, South African Airways, and Boeing, to deliver sustainable fuel on a large scale.
Project Solaris aims to cultivate 250,000 hectares of the tobacco crop by 2025.
The new crop generates much-needed employment, as demand for traditional tobacco decreases.
The adaptable plants will also be cultivated in neighboring countries such as Malawi and Zimbabwe.
Project Solaris hope the scheme can have benefits for the wider economy, and reduce South Africa's dependence on imports.
The fuel derived form the tobacco could also provide biodiesel for cars and a wide range of bioplastics.
The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials, which issues standards for sustainability practice, believes the crop has great potential.
"Solaris has very strong potential compared to other biofuel feedstocks," says RSB Executive Director Rolf Hogan. "It produces several harvests per year and a large amount of oil per hectare compared to other crops."
The RSB also certify that the supply chain is free from child labor, and is not implicated in deforestation.
Project Solaris anticipate the new fuel will offset 267 kilotons of carbon emissions by 2020.
South African Airways aim to use the fuel on 50% of flights by 2023, which could require 500 million liters per year.