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.[1]

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.


Steve said...

Pretty Green for the Military, and they waste like wastrels, I did a tiny bit of looking into the greenness of the military and found this. I dont think for a second it has anything to do with sustainability of anything except the military.

Sixth Estate said...

If a fuel is burned and releases GHG-related emissions, it's not green. It really doesn't matter where it comes from.