The Pentagon, in the largest ever American government purchase of biofuel, bought a batch of fuel made from chicken fat and algae that will be burned by the Navy in war games next year.

The Defense Department’s Defense Logistics Agency will buy 450,000 gallons of biofuel made from a blend of used cooking oil and algae, which will be used in the U.S. Navy’s demonstration of a Green Strike Group next summer during the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, the world’s largest international maritime exercise. Navy ships will use the animal fat oil while Navy aircraft will burn the algae fuel. The fuel will be mixed in blends that are half biofuel and half traditional petroleum fuels.

The purchase is part of the US government’s efforts to get the military off of fossil fuels. The Pentagon paid $12 million, or about $26 a gallon for the biofuel, far higher than the price of diesel fuel, which is currently under $4 a gallon.

In March, President Obama directed the departments of Agriculture, Energy and Navy to work together to advance a domestic industry capable of producing drop-in biofuel substitutes for diesel and jet fuel. The three departments in August announced their intent to invest up to $510 million during the next three years in partnership with the private sector to produce advanced drop-in biofuel to power military and commercial transportation.  A drop-in biofuel is a bio-based fuel that is a chemical copy of its hydrocarbon counterpart.

The Navy demonstration could teach both the commercial aviation industry and the military about how to incorporate domestically made biofuels into their energy mix.


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1 Comment on Chicken Fat and Algae to Power US Navy

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