Saturday March 18, 2017

Flying high with biofuels

Research aircraft measures aviation biofuel emissions from NASA DC-8.

Research aircraft measures aviation biofuel emissions from NASA DC-8. (L. Losey)

Listen 7:59

Aerosols released by jet aircraft engines release particles which contribute to the formation of clouds, in the form of contrails. Contrails can affect climate as they interact with radiation from sunlight, as well as change the amount of water stored in the atmosphere.  

NASA's experimental fuel could cut aircraft emissions1:02

A new study by Dr. Richard Moore, a research scientist as NASA's Langley Research Center in Norfolk, Virginia, found that a 50/50 blend of conventional jet fuel and biofuel derived from camelina oil, reduced those harmful emissions by 50 per cent. In the experiment a research plane was able to gather information about those particulate emissions as it followed closely behind the source aircraft, NASA's DC-8. Two of the source plane's engines burned jet fuel, while two burned the biofuel blend. Researchers hope that this blend of fuels could help mitigate the impact of the aviation industry on climate change.  

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