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NASA measures effects of jet engine biofuel

Thursday - 4/25/2013, 3:09pm  ET

BROCK VERGAKIS
Associated Press

HAMPTON, Va. (AP) -- NASA researchers say a series of test flights in California has shown a commercial jet could safely fly with a blend of jet fuel made from camelina plant oil while producing fewer emissions.

Scientists at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton released the preliminary results of their research on Thursday.

Among other things, they said there was no noticeable difference in the engine performance of a DC-8 airplane flying as high as 39,000 feet on the biofuel mix. The researchers also said that under certain conditions the biofuel mix produced 30 percent fewer emissions.

Researchers used a specially outfitted airplane to analyze the DC-8's contrails, coming as close as 300 feet to the aircraft while in flight. The flights occurred near Edwards Air Force Base between February and April.


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