Air Force jet flies on plant oil fuel blend

On March 25, Air Force Maj. Chris Seager broke a flight barrier of sorts when he piloted an A-10 Thunderbolt jet fueled by a 50-50 blend of camelina plant oil and regular JP-8 jet fuel, according to a story at GovernmentExecutive.com.

The story notes that the Air Force’s objective is to certify a family of fuels created from biomass, but will not consider fuels made from food sources, such as corn or sugar, because it does not want to upset or unduly influence the food-production economy. Camelina is a flowering plant related to mustard, cabbage and broccoli, but not used for food. It requires little water and fertilizer and has a high oil content, making it a particularly attractive candidate for fuel.

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