Tuesday, June 21, 2011
This is "Eco-Friendly"?
The US Air Force, air demonstration team, The Thunderbirds, is going green, sort of. Last month the squadron introduced biofuel in the form of a 50-50 blend of conventional jet fuel and the rest a fuel extracted from camelina.
Wiki offers this description of camelina:
Camelina needs little water or nitrogen to flourish, it can be grown on marginal agricultural lands and does not compete with food crops. It may be used as a rotation crop for wheat, to increase the health of the soil.
So, it sounds as though camelina isn't all bad. It doesn't compete with food crops - supposedly. It can be used to improve wheat fields when the need to be left fallow. It doesn't consume much water or nitrogen - perhaps.
Can these numbers be maintained when the US Air Force and Navy begin consuming, between them, 700-million barrels of bio-fuel per year? There are plenty of "ifs" in that question. And what if commercial aviation develops an appetite for camelina? The US military represents just 10% of the demand for aviation fuel in the United States.