Scientists explore use of invasive trees to develop jet fuel

Share via AddThis
Posted July 23, 2013

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are exploring options for using invasive trees to develop U.S. Navy fighter jet fuel.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists at several locations in the western United States are contributing to a project called “Accelerated Renewable Jet Fuel (RJF) Supplies from Invasive Woody Species.” ARS is USDA’s chief intramural scientific research agency, and this work supports the USDA priority of developing new sources of bioenergy.

In western U.S. rangelands, native juniper and pinyon pine trees are spreading beyond their historical ecological niches and disrupting the environmental balance of their expanded range. Preliminary estimates suggest harvesting some of these hardy invaders every year could supply enough biomass to produce millions of gallons of renewable jet fuel. Removing these trees would help restore productive rangeland for livestock and protect critical sagebrush habitat for the western sage grouse and other animals.

In Burns, Ore., research leader Tony Svejcar and others will inventory trees available for harvest and biofuel production. This information can also be used to determine optimal locations for restoring wildlife habitat and locations where harvests could adversely impact existing wildlife. Svejcar works at the ARS Range and Meadow Forage Management Research Unit in Burns.

The scientists will also focus on devising plans for harvesting the trees in a sustainable manner. ARS research leader Fred Pierson plans to conduct experimental juniper harvests on a variety of sites in Idaho to observe how the removal affects erosion, and will use the information to model the environmental impacts of large-scale tree harvests. Pierson, who works at the ARS Northwest Watershed Research Center in Boise, Idaho, will also be monitoring how juniper removal affects large-scale water cycles.

Read more at: Phys.org



54,080 science & technology articles

Categories

Our Articles (see all)

General News

Follow us

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   StumbleUpon   Plurk
Google+   Tumblr   Delicious   RSS   Newsletter via Email

Featured Video (see all)


Using static electricity, insect-sized flying robots can land and stick to surfaces
Small drones need to stay aloft do their jobs — whether that’s searching for dangerous gas leaks or…

Featured Image (see all)

NASA’s rodent habitat, developed at Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, serves as a home away from home for mice on the International Space Station. Previous rodent experiments aboard space shuttles contributed to the development of new drugs now fighting osteoporosis on Earth.

Credits: NASA
Mice Studies in Space Offer Clues on Bone Loss
Astronauts know their bodies will be tested during time spent on the International Space Station, from the 15…