The B1 bomber is among the Air Force planes already certified to fly on non-petroleum-based fuels. Photo: Ed Uthman via flickr
Say what you like about actions of the US military,but sometimes they make a genuinely green decision. Like this one: The US Air Force has dropped plans to build a coal-to-liquid fuel plant in Montana. Except that in this instance the reasons for doing so have nothing to do with the environment: Conflict With Nuclear Operations Cited
The Air Force had been considering constructing the coal-to-liquids plant at Malmstrom AFB in Montana, but citing various operational and security concerns regarding interference with the operations of the 341 Missile Wing’s nuclear mission, the plan has been dropped.
By 2011, the USAF hopes to have all of its aircraft certified to fly on a 50-50 mix of synthetic and petroleum-based fuels.
Fuel From Factory Farms Could Power Air Force Jets
Indeed, proximity to Barskdale Air Force Base, was cited as one of the reasons that Dynamic Fuels (a joint venture between Tyson Foods and Syntroleum) chose Geismar, Louisiana as the location for its biofuel production facility, which will be using waste animal fat from Tyson’s cow, pig and chicken processing plants to produce diesel and jet fuel.
Coal-to-Liquids Fuel More Polluting Than Petroleum
Coal-to-Liquids technology dates back to World War 2, where it was used extensively by the Nazis. The main user of the technology today is South Africa (from where the Air Force has recently purchased fuel). There are currently no coal-to-liquids facilities operating in the US, but one planned for Ohio has received final permitting.
In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, liquid fuel from coal is one of the most polluting fuels out there, emitting at least twice as much carbon as petroleum-based fuels.
via: McClatchy/Yahoo News
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