Biodiesel jet fuels coming our way since at least 2001

The public is slowly waking up to the idea of putting soybeans or corn or, soon, watermelons into their cars, but how long will it be until we feel the same about airplanes. As we've covered recently, the Air Force and Virgin are two organizations looking into alternative fuels for planes (the Air Force, though, is using fuel from gasified coal, not a biofuels). AutoblogGreen reader Drew recently sent in a tip about the USDA's research into biodiesel jet fuels.
The National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, Illinois was busy in 2001 researching ways to blend a little bit of methyl soyate (SME) – esters from fatty acids of soybean oil – with jet fuel (JP-8) without affecting an aircraft's operation. Adding between 10 and 30 percent SME to diesel also creates biodiesel that can start an engine in cold weather (down to 5°F).

The researcher mentioned in the article, Robert Dunn, has kept busy with biodiesel research, as you can see here. I asked him to update us on his progress, but to no avail.

[Source: USDA, thanks to Drew]

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