40,000 Gallons of Camelina Chosen for US Navy's Aviation Biofuel Test Program
photo: Juho Holmi via flickr
Remember how the US Navy announced plans to test some 40,000 gallons of aviation biofuel in its F/A-18 fighter jets? At the time they hadn't decided on who would be supply the fuel, nor what feedstock would be used -- only that it had to be a non-food crop. Well, both have been answered (via Biofuels Digest)... Montana-based Sustainable Oils and camelina:Option for 150,000 Gallons MoreSustainable Oils says that in addition to the 40,000 gallon contract with the Defense Energy Support Center, the contract includes an option for the supply of an additional 150,000 gallons of camelina-based jet fuel.
The DESC says it chose camelina because "it does not compete with food crops, has been proven to reduce carbon emissions by more than 80 percent, and has already been successfully tested in a commercial airline test flight. In addition, camelina has naturally high oil content, is drought tolerant and requires less fertilizer and herbicides. It is an excellent rotation crop with wheat, and it can also grow on marginal land."
Additionally, it was the only currently available biofuel feedstock that met these criteria and could also be scaled up to meet demand.
Camelina Offers Significant Emissions Reductions, Better EfficiencyStudies have shown camelina-based jet fuel to reduce carbon emissions from jets by about 80%. It has already been used in test flights in commercial airliners -- JAL's test flight earlier in the year showed that aviation biofuels actually outperformed petroleum-based fuels in terms of efficiency.
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