A recent study by Michigan Technological University found that jet fuel made from camelina reduces carbon emissions 84% compared to regular petro-based jet fuels. We've covered the advancements being made with jatropha-based jet fuels and the successful test-flights done using the biofuel, but camelina appears to be even more promising.
The plant, which requires little fertilizer and water and has a high oil yield, has a low-carbon life cycle and has shown the greatest reduction in emissions compared to other biofuels. The study focused on camelina grown in Montana and it found that the state alone could cultivate 2-3 million acres of the crop without displacing other crops. That amount of camelina would produce 200-300 million gallons of oil per year.
Jet fuel seems to be the area where biofuels could really make the greatest difference. Cars will be able to run on electricity or hydrogen, but airplanes will be harder to convert. If biofuels can be made in a way that doesn't disrupt other crops and with less of an environmental impact than oil, then plants like camelina seem to be a great solution, at least in the short-term.
written by Glenn, April 29, 2009
written by Fred, July 07, 2009
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