U.S. Air Force to use Camelina Plant for Biofuel
Sometimes, great things can come from very humble beginnings. Take Camelina, an unprepossessing weed that manages to grow even in reclaimed brownfields. Who would have thought that a mere weed would end up being the biofuel that the U.S. Air Force chooses to help its powerful jets thunder through the sky? That’s just what has happened though, with the successful flight of the A-10C Thunderbolt using a blend of camelina biofuel and jet fuel.
Camelina has been grown for hundreds of years as an oilseed crop. This is one of the reasons the U.S. Air Force sees the plant as a good source of biofuel. Other reasons include its short growing season, low fertilizer requirements, and the fact that meal made from camelina can be used as an animal feed. A distinct benefit, of course, is that camelina aviation fuel has about 80% less carbon emissions than petroleum fuel.
Sustainable Oils is the biofuel company that supplied the camelina biofuel for the Thunderbolt II tests and is likely to supply them again for future Air Force and Navy test flights. However, even petroleum giant Shell is looking at biofuels as a way to maintain profitability in what environmentalists hope will be a shrinking petroleum market.
More alternative biofuel technologies:
U.S. Military to use Algae for Biofuel
British Airways to fly on biofuel from city waste
Bacteria converts organic waste into biodiesel
Gribble worms to help produce biofuel from waste
The Poplar Tree - a popular choice for biofuel
Tobacco enzymes may be able to turn non-edible food waste into biofuel