Military Inks $35 Mil in Algae-Biodiesel Contracts

John Davis

darpa_logoThe U.S. military has inked a pair of deals worth about $35 million to develop biodiesel made from algae. reports two San Diego companies will work on the fuel to be used by the U.S. Army and Air Force:

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) signed a $14.9 million deal with Science Applications International to work on making the algae-based jet fuel commercially and technically feasible.

DARPA also signed a $19.9 million deal with General Atomics to research algae-based fuel.

The two agreements are expected to last through 2010.

For several years, the U.S. Department of Defense has been searching for an alternative to its Jet Propellant 8 (JP-8) fuel for military jets…

DARPA says that more than 90 percent of the fuel used by the Department of Defense is JP-8, amounting to 71 million barrels and a cost of $6 billion in 2006. The kerosene-based fuel is less flammable and less hazardous than other fuel options, allowing for better safety and combat survivability.

JP-8 is a flexible fuel for military applications used in heaters, stoves, tanks, and other vehicles in military service.

Biodiesel, Government