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Metro Airport aims to turn grass into jet bio-fuel

July 12th, 2011 6:59 PM by Eileen Denhard

Metro Airport aims to turn grass into jet bio-fuel

Metro and Willow Run airports are partnering with the Michigan State University Extension Office and Warren-based The Power Alternative to grow and harvest grass and other bio-fuel crops so they can be turned into bio-fuel for jets and other airport vehicles.

Metro Detroit's Aerotropolis airports have about 1,700 acres of land that is suitable for bio-energy crops, like cut grass and other vegetation near runways. The pilot phase of this initiative is planting and harvesting bio-fuel crops on three acres of airport property. The Power Alternative will turn those crops into bio-fuel.

"We're trying to identify these different types of land that we can put into production to meet our renewable energy goals," says Dennis Pennington, a bio-energy educator for the Michigan State University Extension Office who is heading up the project. He pins a conservative estimate of 10,000 acres of potential bio-energy crop space in the Aerotropolis area.

Metro Airport has made strides to increase its renewable energy options, including utilizing small wind turbines. Local officials see the bio-energy crops as a big opportunity to not only more sustainable supply the fuel needs of the airports, but to divert more money toward the local economy.



Source: Dennis Pennington, bio-energy educator for the Michigan State University Extension Office and Michael Conway, spokesman for Metro Airport

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Posted by Eileen Denhard on July 12th, 2011 6:59 PM

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