Biomass Web Exclusive
Alternative Fuels for Military, Only if Price is Right
By Chris Zygarlicke
As a means of ensuring long-term fuel supply security, the U.S. military is actively pursuing development of petroleum alternative jet fuels from
domestic resources. In addition to being “drop-in-compatible” with, and less carbon-intensive than their petroleum-derived counterparts, they
must be cost-competitive.
The U.S. Congress has been debating over whether to allow funding for production of renewable biofuels for use by the military. Last year, the U.S. Navy
spent approximately $26 per gallon to acquire renewably derived jet fuel for testing by jet aircraft. While it can probably be agreed that $26 per gallon is
unsustainable, “first-off” technologies are almost always considerably more expensive than their proverbial “nth plant” versions, which benefit from process
optimization, engineering and manufacturing ....