US Navy to test algae-based jet fuel from Solazyme

20 July 2010 17:16  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The US Navy has bought 1,500 gal (6,819 litres) of 100% “drop-in” algae-based jet fuel that can be mixed with conventional jet fuel for its fleet without changing engine technology, a spokesman with synthetic-biology firm Solazyme said on Tuesday.

“It's the first renewable microbial advance biofuel delivered to the US military,” said Solazyme’s Michael Meehan. “It meets the specs for commercial jets as well.”

The effort would be part of the US military’s goal of operating at least 50% of its fleet on renewable fuel by 2020. The delivery of fuel would fulfill half of a contract awarded to Solazyme by the US Department of Defense in September 2009, it said. 

Solazyme was also working to produce 22,000 gal of 100% algae-based diesel for Navy ships, Meehan said.

In preliminary tests, Solajet HRJ-5 meets the fuel requirements of the US Air Force and the standards for commercial jet fuel, the company said.

“The military has recognised the national security imperative of creating alternative energy solutions, and this project reflects their leadership and vision in supporting new ways to power our Department of Defense,” said Jonathan Wolfson, chief operating officer of Solazyme.

The algae fuel technology could provide an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared with traditional fossil fuels, according to the company.

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By: Sheena Martin
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