The Road to a Greener Navy: 10 Facts on the Navy’s Quest for Alternative Fuels
1. The Department of Navy consumes 1.3 billion gallons of fuel per year and is the second largest consumer of fuel in the Department of the Defense (US Air Force is 1st, Army is 3rd).
2. Every $10 increase in the price of a barrel of oil increases Navy fuel costs by almost $300 million.
3. The Navy has set aggressive goals to reduce its reliance on oil, including a 10% annual increase in alternative fuels use by base support vehicles and equipment.
4. Over 3,000 Electric and Natural Gas vehicles are currently in use on Navy bases. Electric and Natural Gas vehicles might be the most efficient land-based alternative energy solution since they require no conversion from the form in which they are produced or mined and are naturally transportable.
5. Alternatives to petroleum-based fuel are endless. Pond scum (algae), non-food crops, biomass, wastes and CO2 are among the many energy sources currently under study.
6. Algae fields can produce 6,000 gallons of oil per acre. A land area of 500 square miles (21.5 x 21.5 miles or 2 times the size of Washington, D.C.) could yield enough oil to meet all of the Navy’s annual fuel needs. In comparison, US oilfields currently occupy 40,000 square miles.
7. Biofuels derived from algae and the oilseeds of the Camelina sativa plant will be used in the Navy’s “Green” Hornet and “Green” Ship initiatives.
8. More than 200,000 gallons of algae- and camelina-based fuel will be delivered to the Navy for test and evaluation. These sources will be the first liquid alternatives to petroleum to be certified for future use.
9. The first Navy aircraft engine to run on bio-fuel was successfully tested this month (October 2009) at the Naval Air Warfare Center Patuxent River, Md.
10. First flight of the Navy’s F/A-18 “Green” Hornet will take flight in the spring of 2010. The camelina-based biofuel will be blended in a 50-50 mix with standard, petroleum-based JP-5 jet fuel.
Courtesy of Amy Behrman, NAVAIR Corporate Communication