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The Military Transportation Idle

Fat Replaces Oil In F-16s 206

Posted by samzenpus
from the top-grease-gun dept.
It looks like the military has finally figured out a way to combine Americans' love of french fries with their love of blowing stuff up. The Air Force says all of its 40-plus aircraft models will be able to burn biofuels by 2013, three years ahead of schedule. From the article: "The Army wants 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. The Navy and Marines aim to shift half their energy use from oil, gas and coal by 2020. 'Reliance on fossil fuels is simply too much of a vulnerability for a military organization to have,' U.S. Navy Secretary Raymond Mabus said in an interview. 'We’ve been certifying aircraft on biofuels. We’re doing solar and wind, geothermal, hydrothermal, wave, things like that on our bases.'”
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Fat Replaces Oil In F-16s

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  • by pspahn (1175617) on Wednesday October 19, 2011 @05:44PM (#37767710)

    If military vehicles remain dependent on the same traditional fuel, it will ultimately be the collapse of the US.

    I'd never really thought of this, but it makes good sense both militarily and environmentally. Economically, well, it's clear the economic sustainability of the military has never really been important.

  • by JustNilt (984644) on Wednesday October 19, 2011 @07:44PM (#37769140) Homepage

    The war in the Pacific was started over oil, and turned on fuel supply.

    In the end, Japan was using biofuels made from the roots of pine trees, which they had a lot of because the trees had been felled to be burned themselves.

    It took 100,000 pine tree stumps to make one tank of gas for a Japanese fighter jet.

    Biofuels are an overrated source of energy.

    Once the oil begins to run out, heavier-than-air airraft are going to become scarce.

    This has all the hallmarks of an urban legend. First of all, the Japanese "fighter jets" were basically nonexistent in WW2 [wikipedia.org], coming too late to enter service. Furthermore, the "100,000 pine tree stumps" isn't quite correct either. For one thing, it's the roots that were (are?) turned into fuel. Now, it may take 100k roots, I have no idea, but I highly doubt it was "stumps". Finally, last I read [amazon.com], this had been a pilot project (no pun intended) only. While technically feasible, the manpower required to convert the pine roots into fuel was determined to be too much of an impact on other programs.

    Regardless, this isn't an oil based biofuel, it would have been an ethanol one. Bit of a difference there, I think, though I am not an expert on the matter.

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