10 milestones in the summer of aviation biofuels
It has been a summer of aviation biofuels – starting with the demonstration of the US Navy’s Green Strike Group and continuing to announcements of projects right through the summer.
As we head into the Labor Day holiday and we look back on a big summer for biofuels development, there has been the Summer of Algae II underway for the past couple of weeks. There’s been the drought, and the policy fight over the Renewable Fuel Standard.
But in many respects, its been a summer about aviation biofuels – starting with the demonstration of the US Navy’s Green Strike Group and continuing to announcements of projects right through the summer. The story has internationalized, the technologies are broadening, and more and more blue-chip players are making serious steps towards commercial deployment.
Here were 10 milestones you might have missed.
1. At the beginning of the summer, the Green Strike Group got underway at RIMPAC. The United States Navy may be laboring under a congressional ban on biofuel purchases that cost more than bargain basement fossil fuels, but no one said the Navy can’t burn the biofuel it’s already got. Nothing would bring that day closer than the naval exercises held off the Hawaiian islands starting June 29, known as the Rim of the Pacific Fleet Exercises, or RIMPAC War Games. The setting of the movie “Battleship”, RIMPAC is a competitive war simulation in which participating fleets and naval vessels attempt to outmaneuver and “sink” each others’ ships, winning or losing tactical points in the RIMPAC scoring system.
Why a big deal: Critics carped over the per-gallon cost, but the demonstration was all about technical performance, and the Green Strike Group performed spectacularly. Next stop for the Navy: parity-performance, parity-cost military biofuels by mid-decade.