Navy Moving Toward 100 Percent Renewable Jet Fuel?

New biofuel has proved to be compatible with current fuel distribution infrastructure.

Navy Renewable Jet Fuel
The U.S. Navy flew an EA-18 Growler 100 percent powered by CHCJ-5, made from renewable sources.U.S. Navy

When the U.S. Navy flew an EA-18 Growler in September, 100 percent powered by fuel created from renewable sources, ARA lead engineer Ed Coppola said, “Initial results showed our CHCJ-5 performed just like petroleum-based JP5.” Coppola works for Applied Research Associates, the Albuquerque, New Mexico-based co-creator of the new fuel. ARA worked closely with Chevron Lummus Global (GLG) using ARA’s Catalytic Hydrothermolysis and CLG’s hydro-processing technology. Coppola said previous efforts confirmed the new replacement fuel had proven to possess the physical properties and energy content nearly identical to petroleum-based JP-5. CHCJ-5, however, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent compared to traditional jet fuel.

The Department of the Navy has pursued the introduction of drop-in renewable jet fuel to its operational supply as a method of increasing operational flexibility and energy security. Another focus for ARA, of course, is how to develop CHCJ-5 as a viable alternative renewable fuel that can be produced at prices competitive with petroleum. ARA says that goal is not too far in the future.

CHCJ-5 is derived from processing contaminated waster feedstock such as yellow grease from rendering facilities, used cooking oil and brown grease recovered from grease traps. Earlier in 2016, ARA successfully completed military specification certification (MILSPEC) on a 100 percent replacement diesel fuel — ReadiDiesel — in the Navy’s defense test ship.