Advanced biofuels can be commercialized rapidly for military use, on military timelines, with adequate support and coordination of efforts by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Defense and Energy, according to comments submitted by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) to the Air Force’s Request for Information on the commercial status and market for advanced drop-in biofuels.
“The U.S. military and the nation as a whole face a significant national security threat from U.S. dependence on foreign sources of energy and ongoing price volatility. The military requires access to adequate fuel supplies in strategic locations, and biorefineries producing advanced biofuels from multiple feedstocks represent perhaps the best option for meeting this military need,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section.
Erickson noted that while individual advanced biofuel producers have achieved milestones toward commercial development of a diverse array of feedstock and technology combinations, full commercialization has been limited by the severely constrained market for private capital. “Coordination of efforts by the USDA, DOE and DOD to address the market challenges could significantly accelerate production of the volumes necessary to meet the energy security needs of the U.S. military,” Erickson said. “Some advanced biofuel companies already have worked with the Department of Defense (DOD) or with commercial airlines to test and certify advanced biofuel/petroleum blends, and more are poised to do so.”