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Marines steer Afghan farmers toward biofuels

U.S. Marines are part of an experimental effort to maintain gains over the Taliban by developing local biofuels.

From the New York Times:

Marine Sgt. Brian Nelson found himself alone with four hard-won barrels of cottonseed oil one day last fall in a Afghan field in the Taliban stronghold of Helmand province.

The 31-year-old chemical engineer from Falmouth, Mass., was waiting for an Osprey aircraft to take him and his 55-gallon barrels to Camp Leatherneck, the launchpad for some 30,000 coalition forces conducting counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan's rugged southwestern provinces.

Nelson, who has already served two tours in Iraq, spent this past winter tinkering with combinations of cottonseed oil and JP-8, the military's universal fuel, to find a blend that works best in Camp Leatherneck's generators. His work is part of an experimental U.S. effort to maintain gains over the Taliban by developing local biofuels.

For more, see: Marines Trying to Get Afghan Farmers Hooked on Energy Crops

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