The US Navy has moved a step closer towards its goal of halving reliance on fossil fuels by 2020 after successfully demonstrating an alternative means of powering a warship using biofuel. This having already shown potential in a number of different types of aircraft and small craft, the latest experiment involved running a ship using a 50-50 blend of an algae-derived, hydro-processed algal oil and standard petroleum F-76.

The so-called ‘Self-Defense Test Ship’, the decommissioned Spruance class destroyer Paul F. Foster, put to sea for an overnight transit between naval bases on the Pacific coast with the alternative fuel powering one of the ship’s LM2500 gas turbines and one of the ship’s generators. Throughout the trial all aspects of the engines’ performance were closely monitored.

A spokesman from the Naval Surface Warfare Center responsible for the project reported no difference in the performance of the ship. The navy consumes more than half of the US$13 billion spent on fuel by the US military.

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