A Weed-Powered Passenger Jet

No! Not that weed, jatropha, a plant that is not a food crop and can be grown in marginal agricultural land.

Air New Zealand is planning on flying a Boeing 747 with a mixture of equal parts biofuel made from jatropha  and conventional fuel running in one of the engines.

Unlike many other biofuels, UOP’s jatropha jet fuel can replace conventional fuel without requiring changes to existing engines. Indeed, by several measures, the fuel is better than conventional jet fuel. It has a lower freezing point and can be exposed to higher temperatures onboard a plane without degrading. It also contains slightly more energy than conventional jet fuel, so a plane powered by jatropha could travel farther. 

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One Response

  1. in other words, this is the way we should be doing biofuel – not converting food into fuel, with little, if any net energy gain, all due to a shell game using the enviornment as cover to buy votes in Iowa because it has the earliest primary.

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