Algae Powered Gunboat

  • Author: ChemistryViews
  • Published: 28 October 2010
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Source / Publisher: US Navy
thumbnail image: Algae Powered Gunboat

The US Navy has tested a green gunboat at the Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia. The 15 m long, river-based command boat can attain speeds of 40-knots and is powered by a 50/50 mix of algae-based fuel and diesel.

The successful testing of the Riverine Command Boat (experimental), see picture, reflects the US Navy’s efforts to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. The fuel is a "drop in replacement" for standard shipboard fuel. The algae-based component is combined with NATO F-76 fuel to form a hydro-processed renewable diesel, HR-D.

Unlike ethanol-based biofuel from corn, HR-D does not include water, which is incompatible with shipboard fuel systems, has a longer shelf life, and does not compete with food sources.

The testing and evaluation will culminate with deployment of a Great Green Fleet powered by alternative fuels, planned for 2016.

Photo: (C) Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gregory N. Juday/US Navy

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