U.S. government seeks biofuel partnership

Aug. 31, 2011 at 12:00 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy, Department of Energy and Department of Agriculture are forming a public-private partnership to develop drop-in advanced biofuels.

A request for information laying out the administration's goals, assumptions, and tools and requesting from industry specific ideas for how to leverage private capital markets to establish a commercially viable drop-in biofuels industry has been issued by the organizations.

The critical information gathered through this process will help accelerate the development and use of these biofuels, reduce the nation's demand for foreign oil and strengthen rural America.

The RFI can be viewed at https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=e63ff978dc9078d2223687cb7f099b0c&tab=core&_cview=0.

The three departments on Aug. 16 announced an investment in the private sector of as much as $510 million over the next three years to produce advanced drop-in aviation and marine biofuels to power military and commercial transportation.

Drop-in biofuels serve as direct replacements or supplements to existing gasoline, diesel and jet fuels, without any changes to existing fuel distribution networks or engines.

"Energy independence is critical to the military and critical to national security," said Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. "That is why the Department of Navy is partnered in the effort to create a biofuels market.

"Our reliance on foreign oil means that the most volatile regions in the world impact whether our aircraft fly and our ships sail. Home-grown biofuels will create a more stable market for fuel and greater security for the Navy and the nation."

The main objective of this government-industry partnership is the construction or retrofit of several domestic commercial or pre-commercial scale advanced drop-in biofuel refineries. These facilities will produce drop-in advanced biofuels meeting military specifications, will be located in geographically diverse locations for ready market access, and will have no significant impact on the supply of agricultural commodities for the production of food.

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