U.S. Navy Secretary Says Biofuel Technology Has Arrived
by Michael Fabey (Aerospace Daily and Defense Report/Aviation Week) Despite continued opposition from lawmakers like U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the U.S. Navy will continue its efforts to leverage biofuels technology for its ships and aircraft, service Secretary Ray Mabus says.
Mabus disputes McCain’s contention that the Navy is investing in unproven and costly technology by pursuing a course for biofuels. “The technology is there,” he said Oct. 9 during a luncheon in Arlington, Va., hosted by the National Aeronautic Association.
Research shows that biofuels will be a viable alternative for fossil fuel between 2018 and 2024, according to Mabus. “What we can do is speed that up to make it more competitive,” he says.
The Navy has been picking up plenty of steam with its biofuels efforts. The service has touted the use of biofuels in recent large-scale exercises and it is putting together a so-called “Green Fleet” of ships that use alternative fuels while also developing a “Green Hornet” F-18 with the same concept.
One of the more interesting alternative fuel concepts being pursued by the Navy is the Office of Naval Research’s program to hone the chemistry for producing jet fuel from renewable resources in theater. READ MORE