Published on March 14th, 2012 | by Glenn Meyers3
U.S. Navy Test Successful on Algal Derived Renewable Diesel Fuel
The era of renewable biofuels is getting much closer to reality, following a successful test run for a diesel frigate traveling from Everett, WA to San Diego, CA.
The biodiesel test was managed by Solazyme, Inc., a renewable oil and bioproducts company. It announced today that the USS Ford, a U.S. Navy Frigate fleet ship, successfully journeyed from its homeport in Everett, WA to San Diego, CA using Soladiesel HRD-76, Solazyme’s 100 percent algal derived renewable marine diesel fuel. The voyage required 25,000 gallons of a 50/50 blend using Soladiesel and petroleum F-76 in the ship’s LM 2500 diesel turbines. This marks the first demonstration of the alternative fuel blend in an operational fleet ship.
Meeting the secretary of the Navy’s call for a drop-in fuel replacement, no changes were required to the infrastructure of the ship or fueling pier for the test. Feedback from the ship’s engineers was favorable; the crew reported that operational performance of the fuel system and gas turbine engines on the 50/50 blend was similar comparable to operations on traditional petroleum F-76.
“The U.S. Navy continues to demonstrate the effectiveness of our fuel in multiple vessels, and we are honored to have the opportunity to assist with efforts to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels,” said Rogerio Manso, Solazyme chief commercialization officer in a press announcement. “We view these successful tests as an important step towards the commercialization of our renewable fuels.”
Last December, U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced plans to spend $12 million to buy 450,000 gallons of alternative fuel for aircraft, ships and unmanned vehicles, the biggest government purchase of advanced biofuels. This marked the single largest purchase of advanced biofuel in government history.
Solazyme’s renewable diesel and jet fuels meet all of the EU, ASTM and draft military specifications for diesel, marine diesel and jet biofuels.
The company’s renewable products can replace or enhance oils derived from the world’s three existing sources – petroleum, plants and animal fats. Initially, Solazyme is focused on commercializing its products into three target markets: fuels and chemicals, nutrition, skin and personal care.