U.S. Navy buys 20,000 gallons of algae fuel

Solazyme signs contract to provide additional 150,000 gallons of algae-derived advanced biofuels to U.S. military by 2011.

Algae biofuel producer Solazyme announced Wednesday it's delivered 20,000 gallons of algae-based shipboard fuel to the U.S. Navy.

Solazyme's Soladiesel Renewable Naval Distillate fuel will go toward the Navy's ambitious goal of getting 50 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2020.

But algae fuel is not just useful for the Navy's ships.

This past summer Solazyme also delivered 1,500 gallons of algae-based jet fuel to the U.S. Navy for testing. If testing goes well, Solazyme's algae-based advance biofuel could be powering some of our nation's military aircraft.

Solazyme is on track to provide over 150,000 gallons of algae-based advanced biofuel to the U.S. military by 2011. Solazyme

The company has also signed a contract with the Department of Defense to deliver an additional 150,000 gallons of algae-derived advanced biofuel by 2011.

In addition to garnering more military contracts, the company also raised $52 million in series D funding in August, and counts Morgan Stanley and the Chevron's venture arm among its investors.

It's clear to see why the U.S. Navy is interested in incorporating American-made alternative fuel into its energy plan.

In 2009 the not-for-profit Center for Naval Analyses issued a report signed by 12 former U.S. generals and admirals that concluded the U.S. military's dependence on not only foreign oil , but also natural gas and an unreliable electrical grid, is jeopardizing U.S. national security.

The report asserted that much of the fuel purchased by the U.S. military was essentially a transfer of wealth to countries associated with terrorism, and, therefore, the U.S. was indirectly financing both sides of the terrorist conflict. It recommended increased use of alternative fuels and electric vehicles, which the Department of Defense had already been actively pursuing, as part of a proposed solution.

About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.

 

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