5 Military vehicles that are powered by biofuel
In a world pinched sharp by rising oil prices and concerns over the impact of emissions on the environment, even the military is chipping in doing its bit to keep the earth safe. They are planning to go green by switching to biofuels, a general term for all fuels derived from plants, biomass, waste oil and fats.
When we are talking about military vehicles it means it is about fuel guzzling beasts that are designed to conquer their elements be it land, air or sea. An absolute no compromise on power is the unwritten rule when it comes to military vehicles and these vehicles run, fly and sail just as well on biofuels. Here are five military vehicles that are powered by biofuels.
1. Algal Biofuel Powered Military Helicopter
Seahawk helicopterAlgal Biofuel Powered Military Helicopter
A US Navy Seahawk helicopter became the first military helicopter in history to fly on a 50-50 algal biofuel and jet fuel blend. Called Solajet HRJ-5, this algal biofuel is developed by San Francisco headquartered Solazyme, Inc. This is in accordance with US Military’s stated goal of powering all its vehicles with biofuels in future. Solazyme developed the advanced biofuel Solajet HRJ-5 in active association with US Navy and DLA Energy. The Seahawk flew on a 50-50 blend of petroleum derived jet fuel and the Solajet HRJ-5. The success of the Seahawk flight demonstrated the viability of the microbially derived fuel as a fuel alternative, with a potential to free the US armed forces from depending on imported oil.
2. Biodiesel Plied Motorbike
BioBikeBioBike bio-fuel powered
An all-terrain dirt bike, BioBike has potential military applications. Many armies all over the world utilize bikes where the terrain or maneuverability restricts heavier vehicles and bikes because they are more agile than traditional four-wheeled vehicles are the natural choice in policing as well as military affairs. Created by a group of students in Australia, BioBike is a bike that runs on biodiesel. This bike is not only ecofriendly but has an outstanding fuel economy of 96 km to a liter. Built on a Husaberg Enduro frame, the bike has components from White Power and Brembo. Heidi McNamara, the team leader of the BioBike project says that they opted for biodiesel as it is not only ecofriendly and sustainable but more engine-friendly than diesel.
3. F-18 Super Hornet
F-18 Super HornetBiofuel mixed with petro-fuel to be used to power F-18 Super Hornet
The US Navy to fulfill its goal of switching to a renewable energy driven future is now preparing to test the efficiency of biofuel in a US Navy F-18 Super Hornet. The F-18 Super Hornet is a multi-role fighter aircraft which is capable of flying at a top speed greater than 1.8 Mach, which is almost twice the speed of sound. This is a multi-million dollar, high-performance piece of machinery and if the biofuel test is successful it will be another feather in the US Navy’s cap. The biofuel for the test will be derived from jatropha, camelina and algae, and it will be used in a 50-50 blend with jet fuel. The F-18 Super Hornet will consume about 18000 gallons of the biofuel-jet fuel mixture which will cover 15 000 air miles.
4. L-29 military aircraft
L-29 military aircraftL-29 military aircraft powered by 100% biodiesel
A Czechoslovakian manufactured L-29 aircraft is the first aircraft to fly purely on biodiesel. Piloted by Carol Sugars and Douglas Rodante, the 100% biodiesel powered L-29 flew over the skies of Reno, Nevada, reaching a height of 17,000 feet. The biodiesel powered engine provided as much power as a conventional jet fuel powered engine. Extensive test with a blended fuel was performed before the engine was switched to 100% biodiesel. Green Flight International and Biodiesel Solutions partnered to make this project a reality. This flight by the L-29 demonstrates the ability of biodiesel to completely replace jet fuel for flight and substantially reduce jet engine emissions.
5. Knight XV
Knight XVKnight XV bio-fuel powered military vehicle
At the SEMA Auto Show in Las Vegas, the Canadian company Conquest unveiled its flagship vehicle Knight XV. This is a vehicle that any military man worth his rank would fight to ride. Powerful, ultra luxurious, and armored, the Knight XV is biofuel driven. Powered by a V10, 6.8 liter engine with E85 ethanol conversion system this biofuel-driven SUV has a power output of 400 hp. Fully armored with ballistic hardened steel and 2.5 inch thick armored glass, the Knight XV offers excellent protection to its inmates as well as to the environment. This gentle beast comes with laptop stations, night vision gadgets, and LED cabin lighting.