US Navy Tests Algae Biofuel on GunBoat

1 November 2010 (Last Updated November 1st, 2010 18:30)

The US Navy has successfully completed testing algae-based biofuel at the US naval base in Norfolk, Virginia, US, marking a milestone in the creation of a new energy-saving strike force. The 49ft experimental gunboat operated on a 50/50 mix of algae-based fuel and diesel, according to th

The US Navy has successfully completed testing algae-based biofuel at the US naval base in Norfolk, Virginia, US, marking a milestone in the creation of a new energy-saving strike force.

The 49ft experimental gunboat operated on a 50/50 mix of algae-based fuel and diesel, according to the Guardian.

The tests were part of navy's plans to run 50% of its fleet on a mix of renewable fuels and nuclear power by 2020. The fleet currently derives 16% of its energy and fuel requirements from nuclear power.

The navy's first green strike force to run on biofuels and nuclear power includes ten ships, submarines and planes and is scheduled for deployment in the field by 2016.

Biofuels can be produced wherever the raw materials are available, even in the combat zone, and are cleaner than fossil fuels.

The algae-based fuels have, however, a short shelf life, poor characteristics and cost around $424gal.

The US Navy remains committed to sustainability with biofuel and has recently placed an order for 150,000gal from a San Francisco firm.