The U.S. Navy has signed an wide-ranging agreement with biofuels refinery developer Biodico – they will collaborate on developing advanced biofuels and bioenergy refineries for the US military – worldwide.
Biodico began working with the Navy in 2002. "Our objective is to privately fund sustainable biorefineries at DoD facilities around the world at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer, and to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil," says JJ Rothgery, Biodico’s Chairman of the Board.
The goal is to build biorefineries at Department of Defense (DoD) facilities that produce biofuels that replace petroleum diesel, bio-based products and renewable energy at the lowest possible cost. The collaboration is partially supported by grants from the California Energy Commission.
By producing these products on-site, the Navy can better secure its energy supplies, while moving toward its goal of cutting petroleum use 50% by 2020.
Technologies include transesterification, gasification, gas to liquids, hydrogenation, anaerobic digestion, catalysis, and the production and processing of feedstocks and co-products.
Developing production processes will also benefit the commercial sector by providing cost-effective manufacturing methods industries to produce their own renewable fuel and energy.
"This collaboration will enhance our national security, provide new jobs and improve the environment. It will demonstrate and commercialize advanced biofuel and bioenergy technologies that will be utilized throughout the world. The integration of sustainable agriculture with renewable combined heat and power produced on-site will produce inexpensive advanced biofuels," says California State Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura).
As part of the agreement, Biodico will build a biorefinery at the US Naval Base in Ventura County that will produce biofuels and bioenergy at prices competitive with unsubsidized conventional fuel and power. Construction of the plant will be partially funded by the California Energy Commission.
DoD has invested $5 billion a year in clean energy innovation since 2009, second only to the Department of Energy, according to an analysis by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, "Lean, Mean, and Clean II: Assessing DOD Investments in Clean Energy Innovation.
Out of the various military branches, the US Navy has invested the most – nearly $500 million in 2012.
DoD spends $4 billion on energy bills each year, partly to manage nearly 2.3 billion square feet of building space in 300,000 buildings in the US and around the world.
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