Thursday, June 5, 2008

Jatropha weed is a possible candidate for jet fuel


This article in the LA Times caught my eye. Jatropha is an ugly weed that grows in warm environments around the world. It can be grown anywhere, doesn't need much water or fertilizer, is not edible (in fact, is poisonous) and it produces half of the carbon emissions of fossil fuels. It costs a third of the price per barrel of standard crude oil (as of Wednesday night...) and is incredibly fast-growing. Basically, it looks like this stuff has the potential to save the dying airline industries. Of course, we've all heard that before...

Agronomists from the Hawaii Agricultural Research Center are working with Boeing engineers to find the most efficient processes to convert this potent oil into jet fuel.

Oh, and an Air New Zealand Boeing 747 will soon take a test flight using this fuel, cross your fingers...

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