By Gary Thomas
Energy Digital scrutinizes the US Navy's major initiative to deploy a fleet of alternative fuel-activated warships by 2016.
The Navy's ‘Great Green Fleet’ ensures the implementation of renewable energy in the US military with minimal dependence on fossil fuels and will also promote the biofuels industry for a greater commercial market.
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The Navy associates with the Air Force and Army to validate and certify several warplanes and ships. Following the tests, the ships and warplanes will be affirmed as biofuel compatible and entitled to operate on a drop-in combination of conventional oil and green fuel, without the need for engine modifications. With more than $500 M investment made for the biofuels industry, the Navy will dramatically reduce the use of fossil fuels in another ten years.
The Navy's first biofuel-powered ship achieved a trip along California's coast, during November. It worked on an equal blend of petroleum and Solazyme-sourced algae-based fuel. For the same engines, the combustion of fuel was similar to that of the traditional one. During March, the Navy's USS Ford used fuel to sail across 12,000-mi from Washington to San Diego to produce similar results.
Other companies operate on several alternative fuel options in order to achieve supplier bids with the DoD's massive oil consumer. Dynamic Fuels serves as a major source, in addition to San Francisco-based Solazyme. The Louisiana-based company gets fuel source from non-food grade animal fats and used cooking oil.
The Navy will consistently progress with the initiative. The nation will advance beyond partisan politics for supporting the operations of the armed forces.