Finally the day has come! Algae fuels tested in a military aircraft! In a Press Release, Solazyme has announced that the US Navy successfully demonstrated Solazyme’s 100% algal-derived jet fuel, Solajet(R) HRJ-5, in an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter test flight in a 50/50 blend with petroleum-derived jet fuel. This is the first defense aircraft in history to fly on algae fuel. This successful trial preceded the remarkable announcement of the ASTM on the preliminary approval of algae fuels in commercial flights.
Watch the Test Flight video here: MH-60S Algae-Based Biofuel Test Flight
Solazyme’s CEO Jonathan Wolfson has commended the ASTM International, Air Transport Association (ATA) and Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) for their efforts in advancing algae fuels for aviation. According to Wolfson, this announcement is a major step towards commercialization of aviation fuels from algae.
Wolfson added that it’s a privilege for Solazyme to work with the US Navy and the US Defense Logistics Academy (DLA) in taking forward the testing and certification processes for advanced biofuels. The successful flight demonstration of the Seahawk helicopter on a 50/50 blend of Solajet(R) HRJ-5 and petroleum-derived jet fuel marks a significant milestone in this process, and reinforces the Navy’s commitment to securing their nation’s energy supply, according to Wolfson.
As of now, Solazyme is the only company to supply the US Navy with microbially-derived advanced aviation and marine fuel. These advanced biofuels are drop-in replacements to petroleum-based fuel, requiring no modification to engines or military logistics infrastructure. The fuels also meet Section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
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