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Green skies: Engineer's work may reduce jet travel's role in global warming
Date:9/13/2007

ongstanding history of leadership in aerospace science. We feel they will make great strides with this research."

The NetJets-funded research project provides the opportunity to make substantial progress toward the launching of green technologies not only for corporate jets, but also for commercial aviation and transportation in general, according to Robert Williams, a senior research scientist at the Princeton Environmental Institute and member of the NetJets-sponsored research team. At Princeton, the team also includes Ju and Eric Larson, a research engineer at the Princeton Environmental Institute. In addition, the work will involve collaboration with researchers at the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California-Davis.

Two alternative fuel sources that are the subject of much investigation in the aviation field -- coal and biomass -- present a major quandary to researchers attempting to develop low-emissions jet fuels. Coal, a relatively cheap and readily available source of energy, has an emissions profile at least as harmful as petroleum. Biofuel -- fuel made from plants -- presents an attractive alternative because the carbon dioxide emitted from burning biomaterials will be removed from the atmosphere by a new generation of plants during photosynthesis. The production of biomaterials, however, requires the intensive use of land, limiting the feasibility of widespread production of biofuels.

To take advantage of the positive characteristics of each of these sources, the Princeton researchers will center their efforts on the synthesis of jet fuels from a combination of coal and biomass. A key component of their solution is isolating and storing the carbon dioxide produced during the production of so-called synfuels. This technique, called carbon capture and sequestration, is a promising strategy being investigated intensively by Princeton's Carbon Mitigation Initiative, among other research programs.

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Contact: Hilary Parker
haparker@princeton.edu
609-258-4597
Princeton University, Engineering School
Source:Eurekalert

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