The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Henry Blake recently conducted a 3,500 nautical mile trip from Puget Sound to Juneau, Alaska on a 50-50 blend of conventional petroleum and algae-based alternative fuel.
According to Defense News, the demonstration was driven in part by the Coast Guard’s need to understand how well its platforms operate on alternative fuels, given that officials anticipate that the military may be increasingly using blends of synthetic fuels in the future. “The Blake evaluation could be especially important, since the vessel’s mission encompasses so many variables. For example, the cutter moves at full throttle through open water, but also maneuvers at slow speeds for buoy tending duties,” Defense News reported.
Coast Guard officials will compare their performance data with the Navy’s demonstration data to look for any differences. “All the other tests that have been done by the Navy have seen no discernible difference, and we fully expect this to be the same thing,” Sam Alvord, energy fuel section chief for the Coast Guard’s office of energy management, told Defense News. “There were no leaks, no uneven wear, nothing that would raise any eyebrows. It was very short and sweet.”
Photo: The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Henry Blake travels through the Puget Sound on August 22, 2011.