Despite a push by some members of the U.S. military to find gasoline alternatives, it looks like the Republican-lead House Armed Services Committee is putting the kibosh on biofuel in military applications.
Many of those applications had to do with finding alternatives to fuel jets — not something that has an awful lot to do with consumer cars, but the military has a history of pouring money into new technology that can find civilian applications. Now we’ll never know.
Is it really a surprise that the republican-lead committee was against something like that? Yes or no, the fact is that last week the Department of Defense wasn’t just discouraged but banned from buying biofuel because it is less efficient than traditional fossil fuels.
Unfortunately, that decision dismisses the possibility of further research and progress into a list of alternative fuels that already underwent successful testing by various branches of the military.
Among the projects that will more-than-likely be lost, the Air Force was playing with a 50-50 mixture of jet fuel and camelina, made from a plant in the mustard family. The Navy had also been using camelina, along with finding ways to use waste grease and algae. In fact, some of the alternative fuels were even demonstrated in the famous Blue Angels (pictured above).
In Michigan, the Army recently opened the Ground Vehicle Power and Energy Laboratory with the goal of improving fuel efficiency in its vehicles. Last week’s decision will undoubtedly hurt that facility if not kill it altogether.
[Source: Talking Points Memo]