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Airplane (Photo by Preston Keres)


Making the Blue Skies a Little Greener

In the race to reduce emissions, aviation has proven to be one of the most challenging sectors to transform. However, biofuels derived from agricultural products and byproducts offer a promising way to significantly reduce emissions. In this video, an ARS researcher from the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, IL, discusses techniques his team has developed that use yeast to convert plant materials into bio-oil. That bio-oil can be used to make renewable jet fuel. Several crops, from sugarcane to soy, can be used, and the technology can be used with crops grown on marginal farmland, so it does not displace the cultivation of food crops.

Collectively, the U.S. aviation industry aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50% by the year 2050. Innovative new technologies like these biofuels can play a critical role in helping to reach that goal.