The world’s first jet fuel made from 100 percent renewable canola and soybean oil that has pushed a rocket to 20,000 feet has been picked as one of the top 100 innovations of the year.
This press release from the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) says the groups’ green fuel was tapped as the Best of What’s New Award from Popular Science Magazine in the aviation and space category in the current issue of the publication:
“This is our favorite editorial project of the year because we get to comb through thousands of new products and technologies and then recognize the most outstanding 100 with awards,” said Popular Science Editor-in-Chief Mark Jannot.
“We are truly honored and excited to be recognized by Popular Science,” said EERC Director Gerald Groenewold. “This is a tremendous example of the type of practical, cutting-edge technologies the EERC is commercializing on a continual basis, as well as a perfect example of our ability to partner with private industry and government entities worldwide,” he said.
The EERC’s fuel was created from completely renewable crop oils, such as canola and soybeans. Developed through a variety of existing contracts, the fuel was vigorously tested at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and meets all of the screening criteria for jet propellant-8 (JP-8) aviation fuel, a petroleum-based fuel widely used by the U.S. military. One major advantage of the EERC’s renewable fuel is that the fuel can be tailored to meet a wide variety of mission-specific requirements.
The fuel is so good it successfully launched a rocket above the Mojave Desert outside of San Diego, California. As you can see in the video at the top of this post, the rocket hit an amazing speed of nearly Mach 1 (the speed of sound) and reached an altitude of about 20,000 feet.
Check more of Popular Science’s Best of What’s New Awards, including some other green projects, at www.popsci.com.