Navy Pays Big-time for Algaeoleum

Costs for algaculture, harvesting, extraction and conversion to fuel

Navy Pays Big-time for Algaeoleum

Postby DR Johansen » Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:54 pm

Interestoing article from the US Navy Times. Note the cost in subsection 3!

Navy Times
Five Things Every Sailor Should Know About The push for alternative fuels
By Philip Ewing

The Navy Department’s top leaders met for the second year in a row in Washington in mid-October to give an update on the department’s progress in meeting the ambitious energy-conservation goals set in 2009 by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. A huge part of that effort is the bid to use more alter-native fuels in the fleet. Here’s what you should know about what Navy leadership hopes will reduce the Navy and Marine Corps’ reliance on imported oil:

1. What’s needed. The Navy and Marine Corps need alternative fuel to mix with or replace the fuel burned by ground vehicles, aircraft and ships. That covers, roughly, all or partly alternative gasoline, standard diesel, JP-5 jet fuel and marine diesel that today’s engines and equipment can burn without being modified.

2. The situation today. Researchers have tested alternative blends in much of the fleet’s important equipment, including Marine Corps vehicles, a Super Hornet fighter jet and, most recently, a riverine patrol boat. Other services are also doing their own tests; this summer, the Air Force flew a biofuel-powered C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane.

3. What’s the catch? As optimistic as fleet officials are about the potential for biofuel to enable the Navy to use less imported oil, alternative fuel remains exponentially more expensive than traditional petroleum. Last year, the Navy paid $424 per gallon for 20,055 gallons of biodiesel made from algae, which set a world record at the time for the cost of fuel.

4. The catch, cont’d: Getting biofuel production on pace with petroleum also will be a major challenge.
Skeptics wonder whether there’s enough arable land in the U.S. to grow the grasses and other plants needed to pro-duce industrial levels of biofuels ? and moreover, what effect a glut of energy agriculture would have on the price of food.

5. The brass is committed. Despite the questions and challenges, Mabus told participants at the naval energy forum that he was still fully behind burning more alternative fuels across the fleet, and that he’s still supports fielding an all-nuclear or alternative-powered carrier strike group, “the Great Green Fleet,” by 2016.
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Re: Navy Pays Big-time for Algaeoleum

Postby Crzymorse » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:46 pm

$424 gallon, they probably lost money on it too. Only several orders of magnitude to compete.
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Re: Navy Pays Big-time for Algaeoleum

Postby DR Johansen » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:21 pm

By "they", I presume you mean the company that sold it? Cuz of course the NAVY lost money on it!
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