are being studied and tested in commercial and military aviation widely. Biofuels
currently in development are designed as drop in replacements for existing jet
fuels with no modifications needed to engines or other systems.
The biofuels, however, do have to be mixed with regular aviation fuels.
Generally, the biofuel is mixed 50/50 with normal jet fuel. The USAF has been
testing jet aircraft with biofuels and certified its first jet, the Globemaster III to operate on up to 50%
Navy and Solazyme have announced that a successful test flight of a MH 60S
Seahawk helicopter running on a 50/50 blend of algae-based biofuel.
The fuel mixture used in the test is known as Solajet HRJ-5 Jet fuel. Solazyme
claims that this is the first military aircraft in history to fly on an
algal-based jet fuel. The company also notes that the flight preceded the ASTM
preliminary approval for military aircraft to operate on biofuels from algae
and other renewable sources.
“We applaud ASTM International and the ATA and CAAFI for their efforts to
advance the world’s newest and most sustainable fuels for aviation. The
aviation industry has demonstrated a strong leadership position in fuel supply
diversification and sustainability, and today’s announcement is a major step in
its efforts to commercialize advanced low-carbon biofuels,” said Jonathan
Wolfson, CEO, Solazyme.
“Solazyme is honored to be working with the US Navy and DLA-Energy in driving
forward the testing and certification process for advanced biofuels. The
successful flight demonstration of the Seahawk helicopter on a 50/50 blend of
SolajetHRJ-5 and petroleum-derived jet fuel marks a significant milestone in
this process, and reinforces the Navy’s commitment to securing our nation’s
Solazyme is the only company currently providing the Navy with biofuel. The
company has previously conducted tests of its Soladiesel fuel in Navy Riverine
Command Boat demonstrations.
are part of the process the Pentagon wants to consider with regards to energy consumption with weapon systems.