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US Navy to run on Bio-diesel.

Manc Skipper

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It's true it's not particularly weird, but I find it deeply dissonant that warships should be using environmentally friendly fuel.

" ...It looked like a pretty ordinary day on the water at the US naval base in Norfolk, Virginia: a few short bursts of speed, a nice tail wind, some test manoeuvres against an enemy boat.

But the 49ft gunboat had algae-based fuel in the tank in a test hailed by the navy yesterday as a milestone in its creation of a new, energy-saving strike force.

The experimental boat, intended for use in rivers and marshes and eventually destined for oil installations in the Middle East, operated on a 50/50 mix of algae-based fuel and diesel. "It ran just fine," said Rear Admiral Philip Cullom, who directs the navy's sustainability division.

The tests, conducted on Friday, are part of a broader drive within the navy to run 50% of its fleet on a mix of renewable fuels and nuclear power by 2020. The navy currently meets about 16% of its energy and fuel needs from nuclear power, with the rest from conventional sources... "



US navy completes successful test on boat powered by algae | Environment | The Guardian
 

rathi

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Alternative fuels make a lot of sense of military applications. In many circumstances, oil shipments may not practical, so using locally produced fuels like ethanol or bio-diesel are quite useful. For many countries without oil reserves, such fuels may be the only way to keep their vehicles running in case of blockade.
 

Deuce

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Uhh, running off a fuel supply that isn't dependent on foreign oil shipments makes sense from a security perspective, which is more than a good enough reason for the military to investigate the possibility.
 

apdst

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Uhh, running off a fuel supply that isn't dependent on foreign oil shipments makes sense from a security perspective, which is more than a good enough reason for the military to investigate the possibility.
Uhh, turning our food supply into our fuel supply, especially during a time of war, makes no sense at all. Not to mention, the damage that bio-diesel is going to cause to the fuel systems.
 

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It's true it's not particularly weird, but I find it deeply dissonant that warships should be using environmentally friendly fuel.
I think it has less to do with the environmentally friendly factor and more to do with the fact that the biofuels are much more available and may soon be much cheaper than fossil fuels. Also, when we run out of fossil fuels, the military will still have something to run on.
 

American

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I think it has less to do with the environmentally friendly factor and more to do with the fact that the biofuels are much more available and may soon be much cheaper than fossil fuels. Also, when we run out of fossil fuels, the military will still have something to run on.
May, may, may....just maybe..... doesn't equal is.
 

d0gbreath

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Uhh, turning our food supply into our fuel supply, especially during a time of war, makes no sense at all. Not to mention, the damage that bio-diesel is going to cause to the fuel systems.
My city (Denton, TX) has been running all of it's city vehicles, garbage trucks, and buses on Bio-Diesel for 4 years now. It works, and it works well. There is no damage to the fuel systems that I've heard about. Perhaps you would be so kind as to explain this type of damage?
 

Deuce

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Uhh, turning our food supply into our fuel supply, especially during a time of war, makes no sense at all. Not to mention, the damage that bio-diesel is going to cause to the fuel systems.
Eat algae often, do you? :lol:

Also, they're testing this out to see if it causes damage. What's your expertise that lets you declare that this will cause damage? Their engineers don't seem to agree with you.
 

The Mark

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Eat algae often, do you? :lol:

Also, they're testing this out to see if it causes damage. What's your expertise that lets you declare that this will cause damage? Their engineers don't seem to agree with you.
Hell, algae based-fuel?

Sounds like a good idea.

There are probably some few foods made from algae, and perhaps some heath supplements and the like.

But, depending on the process used to get from algae to fuel, it might be better than using corn.

Besides, if they can work the processing system down to a small size, and perhaps have some kind of way to grow the algae artificially while at sea… :mrgreen:

Then again, is the 50% non-algae fuel necessary? Or could it be 100% algae-based fuel?

Sounds interesting, at the least.
Edit: However, this:
In theory, biofuels can be produced wherever the raw materials are available, possibly even in the combat zone. However, Cullom admitted that, as of today, algae-based fuels are no bargain. The current cost of a gallon of algae-diesel mix is $424 a gallon. "Any time you are an early adopter, it's not going to be $3 a gallon," he said.

The early versions of algae-based fuels had a short shelf life, with the fuel separating in the tank, sprouting, or even corroding engines. "They had some not very good characteristics at the end of the day," he admitted.

But the navy appears committed. Last month it placed an order for 150,000 gallons of algae-based fuel from a San Francisco firm.
Sprouting?!?

ROFL.
 
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Deuce

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Hell, algae based-fuel?

Sounds like a good idea.

There are probably some few foods made from algae, and perhaps some heath supplements and the like.

But, depending on the process used to get from algae to fuel, it might be better than using corn.

Besides, if they can work the processing system down to a small size, and perhaps have some kind of way to grow the algae artificially while at sea… :mrgreen:

Then again, is the 50% non-algae fuel necessary? Or could it be 100% algae-based fuel?

Sounds interesting, at the least.
Edit: However, this:
Sprouting?!?

ROFL.
Ok, so there's a couple kinks to work out. The real trouble is when they put it in the fuel tanks of an aircraft carrier. Radiation from the nuke plant hits the sprouting algae-gas, and BAM. Giant plant tentacle monster in what used to be your Jet-A tanks.
 

The Mark

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Ok, so there's a couple kinks to work out. The real trouble is when they put it in the fuel tanks of an aircraft carrier. Radiation from the nuke plant hits the sprouting algae-gas, and BAM. Giant plant tentacle monster in what used to be your Jet-A tanks.
You watch/read too much Sci-Fi :mrgreen:
 

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I don't support bio-fuels as they are currently made. We are destroying our own food supply in order to make the bio-fuels.
 

MCS117

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I don't support bio-fuels as they are currently made. We are destroying our own food supply in order to make the bio-fuels.
Ummm? Biofuel from algae does not consume our food supply... I think you are mistaking it for ethanol, which is corn-based and that, IMHO, is a waste of money because the resources could be transferred to food supply rather than fuel supply. But algae-produced fuel is made in marshes and are grown and harvested, like corn but algae can't really be consumed by humans....
 

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Ummm? Biofuel from algae does not consume our food supply... I think you are mistaking it for ethanol, which is corn-based and that, IMHO, is a waste of money because the resources could be transferred to food supply rather than fuel supply. But algae-produced fuel is made in marshes and are grown and harvested, like corn but algae can't really be consumed by humans....
Biofuel from algae still represents an opportunity cost. It is only slightly better than corn-based ethanol. Algae can also feed people (see: spirulina).

It's a fine step, but it's not good enough.
 

The Mark

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Biofuel from algae still represents an opportunity cost. It is only slightly better than corn-based ethanol. Algae can also feed people (see: spirulina).

It's a fine step, but it's not good enough.
I wonder what all can be made into bio-fuels?

I think methane can be extracted (don’t ask me for details) from various wastes, such as livestock droppings.

Edit: But not all algae can be used so.

And I think algae in general is a far simpler form of life than corn - could a specifically bio-fuel producing algae be engineered?
 
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justabubba

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Uhh, turning our food supply into our fuel supply, especially during a time of war, makes no sense at all. Not to mention, the damage that bio-diesel is going to cause to the fuel systems.
so your stance is please do not deprive us of our opportunity to eat algae
 

rathi

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I don't support bio-fuels as they are currently made. We are destroying our own food supply in order to make the bio-fuels.
Military applications have different requirements. Being able to supply your vehicles from domestic sources has strategic benefits that outweigh the high opportunity costs. In ww2, the Germans turned coal into synthetic oil at great expense because they had very limited supplies of oil .
 
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