Jet planes may well a person working day fly devoid of fossil fuels by employing plasma jets, new study from experts in China indicates.

A range of spacecraft, these types of as NASA’s Dawn space probe, crank out plasma from gases these types of as xenon for propulsion. Nevertheless, these types of thrusters exert only small propulsive forces, and so can find use only in outer space, in the absence of air friction.

Now scientists have developed a prototype thruster capable of generating plasma jets with propulsive forces comparable to those from traditional jet engines, employing only air and electric power.