Biotech Innovation – Menace of the Sky Going “Green”
Biotech Design Innovation from the US Airforce
Who could have imagined the world’s leading fighter jet, the feared warrior of the sky, could reach top speeds and performance on bio-fuel? It seems to lend credence to the potency of “green” energy, and dispels the notion that “green” just isn’t “hot enough.” Certainly we can power autos, equipment and factories the same way if we can solve the issues of economics and scale.
The United States Air Force pledged to acquire 50 percent of its domestic aviation fuel from alternative fuel blends by 2018. They took a leap toward fulfilling that promise recently when an F-22 Raptur powered by biofuel hit speeds of Mach 1.5, or about 1,100 miles per hour.
The biofuel, which reduces carbon emissions by about 80 percent, was derived from camelina sativa, a member of the mustard family and a distant relative to canola. So a cousin of our very own canola oil will now provide the muscle in one of America’s premier warplanes. Experts observing the flight reported no difference in the jet’s performance as compared to flights with conventional fuel.
Unlike some crops used in biofuels, camelina is not edible by humans. It requires little water or fertilizer, and its meal – what is left after oil has been extracted from the seed – has been approved by the USDA for livestock and poultry feed. There’s a lot of win-win there.
The DNA of this Innovation:
What are the most prominent DNA strands that make it possible for this U.S. Airforce product design innovation to have potentially huge impact on the future of energy?
Answer: Aesthetics, Ingredients, and Technique