Bunker Fuel Powered Allied Victory at Sea: Seventy Years Later It Has Become An Enemy – Part 3

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US Navy Leading the Way in Green Maritime Fuels

NORFOLK (Oct. 22, 2010) Sailors assigned to Riverine Group 1 conduct maneuvers aboard Riverine Command Boat (Experimental) (RCB-X) at Naval Station Norfolk. The RCB-X is powered by an alternative fuel blend of 50 percent algae-based and 50 percent NATO F-76 fuels to support the secretary of the Navy’s efforts to reduce total energy consumption on naval ships. (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gregory N. Juday/Released)

While being bitterly criticized in Congress by several “budget hawks,” who say it is way too expensive, the US Navy has been leading the way in creating sustainable biofuel for its ships and aircraft. And yes, it is expensive, very expensive. But that’s why it’s a pilot project. The US Navy is spending 12 million US dollars to figure out what kind of biofuel it could use and is experimenting with using it.

From Reuters 2.19.12:

Defense officials defend “Great Green Fleet” cost

Dozens of F/A-18 Super Hornets and other aircraft powered by conventional jet fuel mixed with recycled cooking grease and algae oil screamed off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz on Wednesday during international military exercises in the central Pacific.

Two destroyers and a guided-missile cruiser plied the ocean using a similar fuel mixture. The fuel demonstration started on Wednesday and continued on Thursday…

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Another story from the climate blog Earth Techling:

US Navy Planning a “Great Green Fleet”

The Navy has set a goal of deploying a “Great Green Fleet” powered entirely by alternative fuels by 2016, and of reaching 50 percent alternative energy use overall by 2020. The service has also tested alternative fuel in a yard patrol boat at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, and in a landing craft utility off the Virginia coast.

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NORFOLK (Oct. 22, 2010) Sailors assigned to Riverine Group 1 stand their post aboard Riverine Command Boat (Experimental) (RCB-X) as the boat conducts turning maneuvers while being followed by Riverine Command Boat (RBC-1) at Naval Station Norfolk. The RCB-X is powered by an alternative fuel blend of 50 percent algae-based and 50 percent NATO F-76 fuels to support the Secretary of the Navy’s efforts to reduce total energy consumption on naval ships. (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Clifford L. H. Davis/Released)

[Sources: Reuters and Earth Techling. Images courtesy of the US Navy Website and the US Navy Website.]

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/

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