Alternative Fuels for Military Applications


May 2011.

The House Armed Service Committee’s National Defense Authorization Act, H.R. 1540 intends a reversal for bio-fuels (green fuels) role in the energy mix for defense. Section 844 of the bill purports military use of new er fossil fuels that produce more pollution than conventional fuels. The House plans to debate H.R. 1540 over the next several days and RRPI will update this situation here!

February 2011

A report on bio fuel alternatives by RAND is exposing raw nerves among some federal defense program executors as the weekend closes in.

“The authors conclude that DoD goals for alternative fuel use in tactical weapon systems should be based on potential national benefits because the use of alternative fuels offers no direct military benefit over the use of conventional petroleum-derived fuels. Consequently, DoD and Congress should decide whether defense appropriations should continue to support advanced technology for producing alternative liquid fuels. The authors also find that the prospects for commercial production of appreciable amounts of alternative fuels suitable for military applications within the next decade are highly uncertain, that current efforts by the services to test and certify alternative fuels are far outpacing commercial development, and that certain efforts are directed at fuels with a very limited potential for sustainable production.”

The report by RAND was criticized by the Navy, which has been leading advanced algae-based fuels research in the public and private sectors.

    The Riverine Command Navy Boat (Experimental) is run on a blend of algae-based and marine fuels



Gregory N. Juday/US Navy, via Associated Press

Now, for the National Algae Association’s
[4747 Research Forest Drive, Suite 180
The Woodlands, TX 77381
936-321-1125]

take on the RAND report and other Algae based biofuel considerations……… (due to) limited feedstock supplies, ethanol and biodiesel facilities sit idle. Taking corn, soybean and sugarcane out of the food supply will result in higher food prices. How much more can we afford to pay for fuel? Algae is one solution. The National Algae Association is working towards algae production in the US. NAA’s Algae Growing, Harvesting and Extraction Technologies Collaboration, Strategic Alliances and Networking Conference on March 28, 2011 at the offices of Goodwin Procter in Manhattan will continue NAA’s workshop tradition of sharing research, new technologies and equipment, marketing plans and financial modeling.

Presentations and collaborative discussions demonstrating algae production, algae growing systems, harvesting and extraction equipment, and dialogues about financial modeling, commercial risk, project planning, branding, messaging and positioning in an emerging industry will be made by Deutsche Bank, Cornell University, Algae Bioenergy Solutions, BARD Holding, OriginOil, Glen Mills, VGA Systems, Millipore, Mustang Engineering, Goodwin Procter LLP and Beckerman. An updated agenda can be found on our website. In addition to a day that highlights the mission to fast-track commercial algae production in the US, free real-time testing of algae (biocrude) oil and biomass (dried) will be made available to a limited number of algae producers at the Conference.

“Clean energy and alternative fuel are issues that have been addressed for over 50 years. With oil prices and unemployment nearing all-time highs, we must act now or face competition from other countries,” said Cohen. “We’ve got to stop throwing money at research and developing new technologies, and face the reality that we need feedstock production. Algae is a renewable feedstock that we have been researching for years. Despite the generosity of the tax incentives and other government initiatives, they have not resulted in reduction of our energy dependence or increased our self-sustainability. Redirecting our efforts towards commercial-scale algae production will help get us where we need to be. ”