Yesterday at Edwards Air Force Base, an F-22 just flew on a jet fuel blend containing 50% renewable biofuel derived from Camelina, a weed that grows easily on marginal land without water or nitrogen, is affected neither by drought nor cold, and has 80% lower carbon emissions than conventional fuel.
Edwards Air Force Base News is reporting the success of the flight.
“The overall test objective was to evaluate biofuel fuel blend suitability in the F-22 weapon system. Testing consisted of air starts, operability, and performance at different speeds and altitude throughout the flight envelope. The F-22 Raptor performed several maneuvers including a supercruise at 40,000 ft. reaching speeds of 1.5 Mach. Supercruise is supersonic flight without using the engine’s afterburner.
“The F-22 flew on Friday, March 18 and performed flawlessly on the biofuel blend citing no noticeable differences from traditional JP-8,” said Jeff Braun, director of the Alternative Fuels Certification Division, part of the Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
The overall flight was a success and another milestone completed for the Alternative Fuels Certification Division in support the Air Force’s 2016 acquisition goal to cost-competitively acquire 50 percent of the domestic aviation fuel requirement via alternative fuel blends in which the component is derived from domestic sources produced in a manner that is ‘greener’ than fuels produced from conventional petroleum.”
The advantages to Camelina were that if it could work, blended with conventional jet fuel, it would be relatively easy to scale up to demand, and it would not compete with food crops because it can be grown easily throughout the Northern states that have such poor soil and climate that they will never be “farm states”.
Because it is more cold-resistant than the average biodiesel feedstock, it is ideal for jet fuels that must perform in the cold, high above the warm blanketing warmth of lower altitudes.
The military, like all Federal Agencies has been under Executive Order by the Obama administration to cut greenhouse gases 30% by 2020. It’s yielding results.
- U.S. Department of Energy Announces New Biofuel to Replace Gasoline
- Red Seaweed Could Be the Next Biofuel Super-Crop
- US Navy is building a green fleet
- Biofuel Crops Could Help Fight Climate Change…But It’s Not What You Think
- C-17 is First Air Force Jet to Cleared to Fly on Biofuel (defensetech.org)
- Navy Drives Biofuel Production With Goal to Buy 336M Gallons a Year by 2020, Enhancing San Diego’s Role as Center for Algae Biofuels (xconomy.com)
Susan Kraemer writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate and GreenProphet and has been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design she brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention: solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times. Follow Susan @dotcommodity on twitter.