Study Shows Camelina-Derived Renewable Jet Fuel Reduces Carbon Emissions 84%

 

Renewable fuels company Sustainable Oils shared the results of a life-cycle analysis of jet fuel created from proprietary Camelina seeds. According to the study, renewable jet-fuel made from Camelina reduces carbon emissions by 84% percent compared to the petroleum-based counterpart.

A team at Michigan Tech University based their research on Camelina grown in Montana and then processed into bio-jet fuel using “UOP hydroprocessing technology”. Next generation biofuels are true hydrocarbons and in the molecular aspect are indistinguishable from fossil fuels, which makes Camelina oil a good candidate to quickly reduce carbon emissions produced by aviation.





Sustainable Oil will continue to use the Montana acreage they have contracted for growing Camelina plants as the northern plains are well suited for growing the crop.┬áThousands of acres of Camelina seeds have already been planted in order to offset a fraction of the hundreds of millions of gallons of jet-fuel that will be needed over the course of the next five years. More effort is also being put forth to attract more farmers to grow Camelina, since it’s one of a handful of crops that has potential to provide sufficient feedstock to create large quantities of biojet fuel.

Camelina is well suited to be a sustainable biofuel crop, because it naturally contains high oil content and its oils are low in saturated fat. Camelina needs little water and requires less fertilizer and herbicides than most plants, and it’s is also a great rotation crop with wheat (meaning it does not displace food crops).

Researchers estimate that the state of Montana alone can support millions of acres of Camelina, generating the equivalent of 200 to 300 million gallons of bio jet fuel a year. The plant-based jet-fuel has shown in tests that it performs just as well if not better than traditional jet fuel and exhibits one of the largest greenhouse gas emission reductions of any renewable feedstock.

Camelina biojet fuel is not the only type of biojet fuel. NC State University has also developed a complex hydrocarbon fuel, suitable for military use. This biofuel can be derived from any renewable lipid-based oil compound, such as soybean, algae, canola or animal fats. They believe they were the first to look closely at creating biodiesel fuel from low quality feedstocks.

Wherever it’s coming from, these options both seem to offer us hope that we’ll have something to fly with later in this century.

Source: (1,2,3)

Image Credit: el sustenator via Flickr under Creative Commons License





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  • ChuckL

    If Camelina and fossil based jet fuel are molecularly indistinguishable, please explain where the carbon in the Camelina based fuel disappears to when it is burne

  • ChuckL

    If Camelina and fossil based jet fuel are molecularly indistinguishable, please explain where the carbon in the Camelina based fuel disappears to when it is burne

  • O.k. all the bio-fuels are welcome, till we re-find and re-use the really clean and free energy, “Promitheus” had stolen from “Jeus” and had given to mankind. You see, the rulers of this world have a lot to lose if we use this energy, so… but the time for clean-free energy is not far!

  • O.k. all the bio-fuels are welcome, till we re-find and re-use the really clean and free energy, “Promitheus” had stolen from “Jeus” and had given to mankind. You see, the rulers of this world have a lot to lose if we use this energy, so… but the time for clean-free energy is not far!

  • O.k. all the bio-fuels are welcome, till we re-find and re-use the really clean and free energy, “Promitheus” had stolen from “Jeus” and had given to mankind. You see, the rulers of this world have a lot to lose if we use this energy, so… but the time for clean-free energy is not far!

  • O.k. all the bio-fuels are welcome, till we re-find and re-use the really clean and free energy, “Promitheus” had stolen from “Jeus” and had given to mankind. You see, the rulers of this world have a lot to lose if we use this energy, so… but the time for clean-free energy is not far!

  • O.k. all the bio-fuels are welcome, till we re-find and re-use the really clean and free energy, “Promitheus” had stolen from “Jeus” and had given to mankind. You see, the rulers of this world have a lot to lose if we use this energy, so… but the time for clean-free energy is not far!

  • It will be interesting to see if the carbon footprint issue really induces the movement to green fuels.

  • It will be interesting to see if the carbon footprint issue really induces the movement to green fuels.

  • Dex

    ChuckL said-

    “If Camelina and fossil based jet fuel are molecularly indistinguishable, please explain where the carbon in the Camelina based fuel disappears to when it is burne”

    Good point ChuckL.

    What i guess is meant by this is that if you grow the Camelina in the first place then you had to necessarily pull that much C out of the air for the plant to fix it into oil. If you keep doing this then it is called sustainable, and does “reduce” net carbon emissions.

  • Dex

    ChuckL said-

    “If Camelina and fossil based jet fuel are molecularly indistinguishable, please explain where the carbon in the Camelina based fuel disappears to when it is burne”

    Good point ChuckL.

    What i guess is meant by this is that if you grow the Camelina in the first place then you had to necessarily pull that much C out of the air for the plant to fix it into oil. If you keep doing this then it is called sustainable, and does “reduce” net carbon emissions.

  • Really wonderful Camelina-derived get fuel. Least expensive, this is a real promise for aviation industry to take note of as this industry alone creates havoc in carbon emissions.

  • Really wonderful Camelina-derived get fuel. Least expensive, this is a real promise for aviation industry to take note of as this industry alone creates havoc in carbon emissions.

  • Dzugavili

    Pretty interesting and definitely a decent plan; nothing like a mostly renewable source of fuel. Sourcing carbon for fuel from atmospheric sources is usually ignored by both sides; environmentalists will complain about burning wood, even though it is a carbon neutral (need carbon to make wood) and fairly natural process anyway and companies are more concerned with cleaner burning than cleaner sources. And it looks like this source doesn’t use the corn/grain method that apparently plagues the food economy.

    All in all, win/win. I’ve always been concerned that we didn’t evolve in an atmosphere that contained the dino-carbons and that the burning of the oil might have an effect on that front, so this is definitely a good thing.

  • Dzugavili

    Pretty interesting and definitely a decent plan; nothing like a mostly renewable source of fuel. Sourcing carbon for fuel from atmospheric sources is usually ignored by both sides; environmentalists will complain about burning wood, even though it is a carbon neutral (need carbon to make wood) and fairly natural process anyway and companies are more concerned with cleaner burning than cleaner sources. And it looks like this source doesn’t use the corn/grain method that apparently plagues the food economy.

    All in all, win/win. I’ve always been concerned that we didn’t evolve in an atmosphere that contained the dino-carbons and that the burning of the oil might have an effect on that front, so this is definitely a good thing.