Jet fuel from seeds?

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Jet fuel from seeds?

Postby jimshu » Mon May 11, 2009 8:28 pm

http://www.e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2147
Good discussion here on development of Jatropha as a biofuel.The big issue with biofuels these days is growing them on land that should be feeding our planet's inhabitants.
As I pointed out in another thread, the push for biofuels needs to be more carefully planned as ultimately for high yield of oil from seeds from plants grown on arid land, we're going to have to genetically engineer such plants.
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Re: Jet fuel from seeds?

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Mon May 11, 2009 10:41 pm

Yes, the US Air Force is sponsoring research along these lines for some obvious reasons. I see a couple big problems. The first is calculating the landmass needed to grow all these biofuel sources. The second is in truly understanding what the net energy equation is for these biofuels. For some reason, biofuels largely seem to consume more energy in production than they generate -- but hey, it makes people feel good!

Not to be too critical because there really is a good reason for developing a renewable jet fuel source and it has nothing with the illusory and vaporous "Green" movement. A renewable jet fuel source means we can continue to use air travel even in the event of a shortage or stoppage of petroleum production.

At least ships can be converted to biodiesel and run on processed leftovers (including fryer grease). I remember Jacques Cousteau experimenting with using wind power in the Calypso's successor, the Halcyone with some really interesting looking airfoil masts. That was 30 years ago but it doesn't seem to have caught on beyond a few shipping lines experimenting with large parasails for lengthy journeys.
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Re: Jet fuel from seeds?

Postby jimshu » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:20 pm

http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2160
A great article on promising research into alternative sources of jet fuels.
oil from Algae.
Very promising.But...has anyone done the equation of required land/pond area required to produce enough oil from algae to fuel a 50/50 blend for the world's jet airline fleet?
Or do we see valuable ponds, swamps,mangrove areas destroyed to turn them into algae producing ponds?
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