Navy tests biofuel, "greener" fleet target is 2016

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Mike Gooding

Posted on October 21, 2011 at 7:28 AM

Updated Friday, Oct 21 at 7:42 AM

NORFOLK -- The Navy continues testing biofuel on its ships to cut down on the use of petroleum products.

On Thursday, Naval Sea Systems Command and the Program Executive Office demonstrated a Little Creek-based Landing Craft Utility (LCU) running on the alternate fuel.

The Navy currently uses F-76 diesel fuel. 

The test fuel is a 50/50 blend of hydro-treated renewable diesel, derived from algal oil and petroleum F-76.

CWO3 Eric Jones says you can see the difference.

"While we're doing the tests, the exhaust stack is showing no smoke whatsoever," he said.

"By the end of 2016, we hope to have a green fleet. If the equipment runs better or the same and is more efficient, I think we will all win in the long run," says CDR Angela Morales.

The Navy wants to have at least half of the fleet's energy consumption coming from biofuels and will continue to add flex fuel and hybrid vehicles on land.

The LCU transports troops, equipment and sustainment to and from the shore and amphibious shipping or a seabase. Originally constructed for amphibious assault operations, LCUs have proven to be highly adaptable for many uses including surf-zone salvage and large capacity movement of personnel and vehicles as in humanitarian assistance or non-combatant evacuation.

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