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It's no secret that biodiesel can be used in airplanes (see BioJet I and, sort of, Virgin Atlantic). To use the biofuel in rockets might take a bit more work, as the 11-second video at the bottom of this post makes clear. The good news, though, is that an explosion during a recent test launch earlier this month in the Mojave Desert is giving engineers "a deeper appreciation for the biofuel," as Biodiesel Magazine puts it. The reason is that even when the biodiesel leaked and caught fire, the damage was much worse less than had traditional kerosene been in the tank. One engineer said that, "The biodiesel just went right out and the rocket did not even get scorched."

Why is biodiesel safer? Biodiesel's flash point is much higher than kerosene's, about 200-300 degrees Fahrenheit compared to 82 degrees. Since the rocket is still in decent shape, the next test launch is scheduled for March 21.

[Source: Biodiesel Magazine]

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