Most Iowans already know about corn-based ethanol and its planet-friendly properties. Now, U-S-D-A researchers are working to create a similar type of soybean-based fuel for jet aircraft.Iowa farmers could have a new market for their soybeans if chemical engineers like Bob Dunn are successful. At the U-S-D-A lab in Peoria, Illinois, he’s developing the jet fuel from a new mixture of biofuel being used in diesel trucks and tractors.Dunn says he and other scientists at the Agricultural Research Service office are still tweaking the fuel to make sure it’ll still burn properly at the very cold temperatures at high altitude. The current mix is good to about 52-degrees below zero. Dunn says the new jet fuel is better for the environment, it’s renewable and it can be made from several types of feed stocks, including soybean and corn oil. Being a scientist, Dunn says it’s hard for him to predict whether the new bio-jet fuel would cost less than traditional jet fuel, which could trickle down eventually to bring down airfares.
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