US Navy to demonstrate biofuel

9 December 2011 (Last Updated December 9th, 2011 05:30)

The US Navy will demonstrate the use of a biofuel blend to power aircraft and vessels participating in a maritime exercise scheduled for 2012, senior officials said.

The US Navy will demonstrate the use of a biofuel blend to power aircraft and vessels participating in a maritime exercise scheduled for 2012, senior officials said.

The aircraft and vessels will be employed with a 50-50 fuel blend of petroleum-based diesel and aviation fuel during the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, scheduled to take place off the coast of Hawaii.

The US Navy recently awarded a $12m contract to Dynamic Fuels to supply 450,000 gallons of biofuel blend for use by the navy's green strike group of vessels and ships.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said the navy has already certified that its ship and aircraft engines will perform on the new fuels without engine modifications and does not increase the carbon footprint.

Maybus says the navy's aim is to use a similar biofuel blend to deploy and power a carrier strike group on a multimonth deployment by 2016.

The biofuel will reduce dependence on unstable sources of foreign energy as well as the budget shocks that come with buying fuel from either potentially or actually unstable places on earth, Mabus added.

Agriculture Department officials are currently researching supply chain management to ensure biofuel products meet the requirements of the navy and other commercial markets, he said.