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U.S. Navy Expands Algae Biofuel Testing

U.S. Navy Expands Algae Biofuel Testing

November 1, 2011

Tina Casey writes on her TPM blog that an algae biodiesel blend has recently passed critical tests on a 135-foot U.S. Navy landing vessel. The ship, a conventional Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 1600-class, used a marine fuel blend composed of one-half algae biodiesel and one-half NATO standard multi-purpose naval fuel, called F-76.

The LCU is commonly used to transport troops and supplies over relatively short distances, from a ship or seagoing base to shore.

Though a relatively small vessel, the LCU can reach speeds up to 12 knots while carrying up to 400 combat-equipped Marines. The equivalent cargo in supplies is about 180 tons.

As with the Seahawk helicopter algae biofuel demonstration earlier this year, the LCU tests show that an algae biofuel blend can be used as a drop-in replacement for conventional fuel, without the need for any modifications to the engine, fuel tanks or exhaust system.

The LCU is among at least three new vessels undergoing biofuel tests this fall. The Navy also plans on testing biofuel on a decommissioned destroyer in November, and in December on a Landing Craft-Air Cushioned (LCAC) hovercraft, designed to cross shorelines that are inaccessible to conventional landing craft.

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Wed November 02 2011 01:27:43 PM by Tomcatino 1248 views
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