Carinata to the rescue
After four years of searching, scientists have found a new plant-based aviation fuel that could significantly reduce the environmental impact of flying. The fuel is made from a type of mustard plant called Brassica Carinata and could reduce carbon emissions by up to 68%, according to research from the University of Georgia. The aviation industry emits 2.5% of all carbon dioxide emissions in the US and is responsible for 3.5% of global warming. This finding comes at an opportune moment as President Biden has just proposed a sustainable fuel tax credit as part of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge. Researchers have spent the past four years investigating how to grow Carinata in the south-eastern area of the US, exploring genetics and best practices for the highest crop and oil yield. Since Carinata is grown in the 'off' season it does not compete with other food crops, and it provides other 'cover-crop' benefits related to water quality, soil health, biodiversity and pollination.