There will be a Wrigtht Brothers reenactment on Friday as the U.S. Navy prepares to fuel a boat with biofuels. Okay, so I fibbed a bit in the lead….it’s a boat, not a plane, and the boat will be fueled by biofuels and not jet fuel, but you get the point. The full power demonstration of a Riverine Command Boat (experimental) powered by a blend of 50 percent algae-based biodiesel and 50 percent NATO F-76 fuel will be groundbreaking. And in case you’re wondering, this bit of history will take place on October 22, at Naval Base Norfolk, Virgina.
“Our primary mission for Navy energy reform is to increase warfighting capability, both strategically and tactically. From a strategic perspective, we are reducing reliance on fossil fuels from unstable locations,” said Rear Admiral Philip Cullm, Director of the Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division (OPNAV N45), which leads the Navy’s Task Force Energy. “Tactically, efficient use of energy resources extends our combat range and use of non-petroleum fuels assures multiple supplies are available.”
The Naval Sea Systems Command’s advanced fuels program office is leading the tests and demonstration for all alternative fuels used for the U.S. Navy. The office is also working in coordination with the Task Force Energy Maritime Working Group, supports the Secretary of the Navy’s efforts to reduce total energy consumption on naval ships.