A new study by OSU researchers found that the common farm weed, pennycress or commonly known as stinkweed, could make a greener jet fuel. It would have less production-related impacts on the environment than other biofuels.
The study found that growing stinkweed requires less pesticide and less fertilizer than other plants appropriate for making renewable jet fuel. Both are would be a win for the farmland and surrounding environment it was grown in.
Stinkweed also requires fewer physical operations like tiling of the soil than other biofuel crops. This would reduce the environmental cost of tiling like carbon dioxide emissions and other emissions.
The study also found that additional environmental impacts could be lessened by techniques that keep fertilizer on the field instead of it becoming run off to local watersheds.
Study authors stated that these changes will not mean just incremental changes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from air travel but a fundamental change in how the industry has been producing fuel and where it comes from.
The Journal “Applied Energy” published the article online.