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US Air Force Researchers Turn Algae to Fuel

Researchers at the Tyndall Air Force Base see algae biofuels as a promising alternative energy feedstock, as they are working on a multi-million dollar project with the goal of reducing the reliance on foreign fossil fuel supplies. They started working on it three years back, and they are trying to figure out the ways of using algae as a fuel source.

According to research engineer Bobby Diltz, they are in the process of identifying suitable ways to produce on site-power and have found algae to be one of the possible solutions. They look at producing methane from algae so that they will be able to burn it as a fuel or a substitute in gas and diesel engines. The algae fuel project focuses on producing algae-based biofuel on deployed bases, which are bases that are temporarily set up overseas, in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. They want to make fuel production at the base itself, to avoid the cost of transportation.

Diltz says military bases in the U.S. could start using algae fuel in the next 4 or 5 years, it will likely be a few more years before deployed bases start implementing it.

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