Navy warships

Making its largest purchase of biofuel in history, the United States military’s Defense Logistics Agency bought 450,000 gallons of fuel made from chicken fat and algae for use in Navy war games, according to officials.

The biofuel was purchased from the Louisiana-based operation, Dynamic Fuels, which is owned by Tyson Foods, Syntroleum Corp and Solazyme, which make the fuels from cooking oil and algae. The fuel cost was approximately $26 a gallon for the biofuel, totaling $12 million, which is actually much higher than the price of diesel fuel (approximately less than $4 a gallon).

But, according to Navy Secretary Ray Maybus, the military made the purchase for one reason, “It makes us better war fighters,” and the use of fossil fuels is “a very real threat to our national security and to the U.S. Navy’s ability to protect America and to project power overseas.”

Efforts to wean the U.S. off of foreign oil have been costly, but continues to remain a focus for the country in order to reduce dependency on outsider fuel sources.

Navy ships will use the animal fat oil and Navy aircrafts will use the algae fuel as part of a demonstration during the world’s largest war games next summer, said Maybus in a media teleconference.

Biofuels have come under scrutiny lately as a number of of environmentalist organizations have linked corn and sugar used in ethanol with the decimation of a large number of indigenous species. Animal-based biofuels have been used recently in France to power vehicles and a factory, but the impact of raising large numbers of livestock animals takes a considerable toll on the environment and is dependent on a number of natural resources.

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Image: AN HONORABLE GERMAN