Montana Biodiesel Crop to be Tested on Airliner

By Beacon Staff

BILLINGS – Montana company says a Japanese commercial airliner will take a test flight next month using jet fuel derived from the crop camelina.

Camelina is a seed-oil crop being pursued by at least two companies in the Northern Plains as a potential source of alternative fuels.

Scott Johnson, manager of Sustainable Oils of Bozeman, says Japan Airlines will stage a one-hour flight using a jet fuel made from his company’s camelina on January 30, in Tokyo.

Camelina companies have so far struggled to reach their ambitions of converting millions of acres of the region’s farmland to the crop. Competition with high wheat prices has made it hard to attract farmers.

Sustainable Oils is a partnership between Targeted Growth of Seattle and Green Earth Fuels of Houston.