Feeds

Fuel for jets DOES grow on trees

Airbus-and-Virgin-funded study finds oil-rich Australian shrubbery can take to the skies

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Western Australian farmers who have spent decades planting trees to try and combat salinity might get a payoff: providing jet fuel to Perth airport.

A study, Sustainable Mallee Jet Fuel, commissioned by Airbus and undertaken at the Future Farm Industries Cooperative Research Centre, found that carbon emissions from jet fuel sourced entirely from mallee crops would emit 40 per cent less carbon than those using petroleum-based jet fuel.

It proposes using the mallee – a family of eucalypts that has a low-growing multi-stem growth habit – as the source of the oil to act as feed-stock for the jet fuel. Rather than developing a processing technology from the ground up, the group proposes using an existing fast pyrolysis technology from Dynamotive, which has demonstrated commercial-scale processing using Canadian wood wastes.

The report proposes developing commercial processing in the Western Australian wheat belt, where a small amount of land – about six per cent of a farm – could be diverted from cropping to growing the trees.

That would give a triple-whammy effect, helping provide a lower-carbon jet fuel while at the same time improving farm environments (for example, rebalancing the water table), and supplementing farm incomes.

As well, it would get around a criticism that plagues the biofuel ethanol, that it essentially steals food from humans. With only a small proportion of farm land devoted to a non-food crop, displacement isn't an issue, the group claims.

Virgin is also on board with the research.

Paradoxically, Australia's science agency CSIRO, a member of the CRC, is now considering slashing its alternative fuel programs to try and cope with swingeing cuts from the new Australian federal government.

The agency has had its funding cut by $AU110 million in the May federal budget, about one-quarter of what it received in royalties from just one project, its contribution to WiFi standards in the 1990s.

The research announcement is here, and the full study is here. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.