U.S. Navy’s Self Defense Test Ship Successfully Completes Voyage Using Biofuel Blend

The U.S. Navy’s Self Defense Test Ship has successfully arrived at its port, powered by an alternative fuel blend. Docking at Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme, it completed a 17 hour test voyage which ended at 10:37 a.m. this morning. The decommissioned Spruance-class Paul F. Foster destroyer was converted to run on 50% algae-derived fuel.

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The successful run used around 20,000 gallons of a 50/50 blend of hydro-processed algae oil and standard petroleum F-76, supplied by the Navy’s Defense Fuel Supply Point at Point Loma. During the demonstration, the ship’s propulsion power was derived 100% from the biofuel blend, with 50% of the service power from it. The biofuel blend ran cleanly and effectively in the ship’s pre-existing LM 2500 propulsion gas turbines, with no adjustments to the engines required.

Previous to this test, the LM 2500 had not been tested with biofuels, making this demonstation a huge step in greenly-run military vessels. This massive ship also marks the largest demonstration of biofuels to date, and its success is a step towards having a green fleet in the military in the future. With the U.S Military’s massive fleet, converting to biofuels or biofuel blends could have a tremendous impact on our dependence on foreign oil, as well as influencing other industries to utilize renewable energy and biofuels.

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