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84% Reduction in Jet Fuel Carbon Emissions Possible Using Camelina

Dec 28, 2009 - Matthew McDermont - Treehugger

photo: Wikipedia

Test flights earlier in 2009 by Japan Airlines and Continental Airlines showed that biofuels were more efficient than petro-fuels when used as aviation fuel, and now a new life-cycle analysis shows that jet fuel made from camelina does indeed go a long way towards reducing carbon emissions from flying:

According to the analysis, done at Michigan Technological University, at the behest of (a proponent of camelina as a biofuel feedstock) and UOP (which makes the technology used to process it into fuel), jet fuel made from camelina reduces carbon emissions 84% as compared to petro-based fuels.

Prof. David Shonnard of Michigan Tech:

Camelina green jet exhibits one of the largest greenhouse gas emission reductions of any agricultural feedstock-derived biofuel I've ever seen. This high number is the result of the unique attributes of the crop—it's low fertilizer requirements, high oil yield and the use of co-products, such as meal and biomass, for other uses.

Montana Alone Could Make 200-300 Million Gallons Per Year
The study was based off of camelina grown in Montana; estimates indicate that Montana alone could support 2-3 million acres of camelina cultivation (done in rotation with wheat), which would yield some 200-300 million gallons of oil each year.

More: Sustainable Oils

Camelina: Another Biofuel Feedstock You May Not Have Considered
Japan Airlines Finds Biofuel More Efficient Than Petro-Fuel in Test Flight
Algae, Jatropha Tapped to Power Continental Airlines' First Biofuel Test Flight