US Navy completes final-phase testing of ARA’s drop-in renewable diesel fuel

7 August 2016 (Last Updated August 7th, 2016 18:30)

The US Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division's (NSWC PHD) self defence test ship (SDTS) has completed sea trials using a 100% drop-in renewable diesel fuel, known as ReadiDiesel.

The US Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division's (NSWC PHD) self defence test ship (SDTS) has completed sea trials using a 100% drop-in renewable diesel fuel, known as ReadiDiesel.

The testing has been conducted as a part of the US Navy’s MILSPEC qualification programme to validate the Applied Research Associates (ARA) and Chevron Lummus Global developed renewable biofuel, ReadiDiesel.

The biofuel has been developed as a drop-in replacement for petroleum F-76 marine diesel.

"Our renewable fuels continue to prove their viability as 100% replacements for petroleum in diesel and jet fuel applications."

The trials were aimed to demonstrate that the new ReadiDiesel does not require blending with petroleum-derived fuels, equipment modifications, or operational modifications by the crew.

Additionally, the testing was conducted to prove that this renewable fuel delivers improved or similar performance compared to existing petroleum-derived fuels.

ARA Fuels Development vice-president Chuck Red said: "Our renewable fuels continue to prove their viability as 100% replacements for petroleum in diesel and jet fuel applications, and we look forward to the opportunity to work with our navy partners to support their operational needs.

“Our goal remains to be able to provide an alternative, unblended renewable fuel that increases our nation's energy security at prices competitive with petroleum."

Testing took place in the southern California coast, and ARA provided a total of 79,000 gallons of ReadiDiesel for the test programme.

The fuel was used to power the ship’s General Electric LM-2500 gas-turbine engine and a Rolls Royce 501 K-17 gas-turbine generator.

ReadiDiesel, also termed as catalytic hydrothermolysis conversion diesel (CHCD-76) by the navy, features the same molecular composition, boiling range distribution, and physical and energy density as petroleum fuels.

It reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 80% compared to petroleum.


Image: The US Navy’s self defence test ship, Paul F. Foster, anchored off the southern coast of California. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Black/Released.