Four-Star Biofuels: How the Pentagon Is Outpacing Civilians in Gen2 Adoption
by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest) In “Four Star Biofuels: How the Pentagon Is Outpacing Civilians in Gen2 Adoption” a special Raymond James look at the military and biofuels demand, Pavel Molchanov writes: “A key differentiator of the next-generation (Gen2) biofuel industry compared to many other areas of clean tech is that the economics of most Gen2 biofuels do not depend on subsidies.
“Gen2 companies that use traditional feedstocks (sugarcane, corn, plant oils) tend to focus on high-value markets such as specialty chemicals – which are never subsidized – while those that are using cellulosic biomass and other low-value feedstocks can compete with petroleum directly on cost. READ MORE Download Industry Brief
Excerpt from industry brief:
Below we provide some examples of biofuel companies that have been working with the DoD. While not a comprehensive list, this will illustrate the wide range of the product and feedstock types that the DoD has been testing.
Accelergy (synthetic fuels). In collaboration with Great Plains Oil & Exploration (a supplier of camelina – a distant relative to canola), Accelergy has provided the Air Force with synthetic jet fuel made from a combination of camelina and coal.
Cobalt Biofuels (n-biobutanol). In 2010, Cobalt entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the Navy to develop technology for converting biobutanol into biojet and renewable diesel.
Gevo (isobutanol). In 3Q11, Gevo signed a contract to supply 11,000 gallons of jet fuel to the Air Force (at $59/gal), which will conduct engine testing and a flight demonstration. The Air Force has committed to buying more upon successful completion.
Rentech (synthetic fuels). Rentech has sold synthetic jet fuel to the Air Force for performance and emissions testing, and its diesel has been tested in the Army’s development-stage Land and Sea Special Operations (LASSO) light utility vehicle.
Solazyme (algae-based oils). In 2009, the Navy ordered 20,000 gallons of Solazyme’s HRF-76 Naval Distillate, the renewable equivalent of the Navy’s main shipboard fuel. One year later, an additional 150,000 gallons was ordered. The June 2011 test flight of the MH-60S Seahawk helicopter, using a 50% biofuel blend, involved the first-ever military aircraft to fly with algae-based jet fuel. In March 2012, the frigate USS Ford sailed from Everett, Washington to San Diego, also using a 50% biofuel blend.
Sustainable Oils (biojet). Both the Air Force (A-10 Thunderbolt II, C-17 Globemaster III, F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-22 Raptor) and the Navy (F/A-18 Super Hornet) have conducted test flights at a 50% biofuel blend using biojet produced by Sustainable Oils from camelina. In total, Sustainable Oils has provided nearly 500,000 gallons of biojet to the DoD (through May 2011).
Syntroleum (renewable diesel). In December 2011, Dynamic Fuels (a joint venture between Syntroleum and Tyson Foods that uses animal fats and greases as feedstock), in collaboration with Solazyme, signed a contract to supply the Navy with 100,000 gallons of jet fuel and 350,000 gallons of marine distillate. At $12 million ($27/gal), this was the U.S. government’s largest Gen2 biofuel order ever. Part of the fuel is set to be used by a Navy carrier group during a Pacific maritime exercise in the summer of 2012. READ MORE