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US Navy, Cobalt to jointly develop military jet biofuel

A file photo.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA (BNS): The US Navy and California-based bio fuel outfit Cobalt Technologies on Wednesday agreed to jointly develop military jet fuel converted from biobutanol.

According to the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), Cobalt's biobutanol will be converted to bio-jet and biodiesel fuels using technology developed at the US Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) in China Lake, California.

The result will be a complete substitute for military and civilian jet fuel, meeting all applicable specifications. In addition, Cobalt will have an option to obtain an exclusive license to commercialise process improvements, made under the CRADA, for the production of all military and civilian transportation fuels.

"We are pleased to collaborate with the US Navy to develop a renewable option for jet fuels. This research will help relieve our reliance on foreign oil through the use of renewable fuels developed here in the United States," Rick Wilson, CEO of Cobalt Technologies, was quoted as saying in the company news report.

The US Navy has set a high priority on the development of cost-effective and sustainable domestic sources of fuels and has several initiatives in place to increase its use of bio fuels, while decreasing its carbon-footprint and dependence on foreign petroleum.

"Our goal as a Navy is to be an early adopter of new technologies that enhance national security in an environmentally sustainable way," said Rear Admiral Philip Cullom.

Under the contract, a team of scientists from Cobalt and the NAWCWD will investigate the optimum conditions for the conversion of Cobalt's n-biobutanol into jet fuel, while ensuring the process minimises time, cost and energy consumption. More specifically, the combined team will optimise dehydration chemistry for the conversion of bio-n-butanol to 1-butene, followed by oligomerisation of the biobutene into jet fuel, based on a process developed at NAWCWD.


Navy  Bio fuel  Cobalt  

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