Jet Fuel Made from Invasive Tree Species

Scientists from the Agricultural Research Service in multiple locations across the country are participating in the Accelerated Renewable Jet Fuel project to find new ways to create jet fuel from certain invasive trees such as juniper and pine trees.

In the western part of the U.S., invasive tree species are growing beyond their ecological expectations and disrupt the environmental balance of the area. To help deal with this disruption, scientists from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are working on harvesting the trees to make jet fuel.

The scientists estimate that the trees could create enough biomass to make millions of gallons of renewable jet fuel. The removal of the trees would also restore the rangeland that is needed for livestock, sagebrush, and other critical plants and animals that reside in the region.

Research will be conducted to determine which trees should be harvested for the most benefit, and the trees will also be harvested in a sustainable manner. Computer models will also be used to prepare for the environmental impacts, positive and negative, that may occur from large-scale tree harvests.