100% renewable military fuels completes California at-sea trial 

August 7, 2016 |

In California, a Navy ship has successfully operated on a 100 percent drop-in renewable diesel fuel. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division’s Self Defense Test Ship completed final-phase testing of a 100% drop-in renewable diesel fuel as part of the Navy’s MILSPEC qualification program.  ReadiDiesel was developed by Applied Research Associates and Chevron Lummus Global, as a drop-in replacement for petroleum F-76 marine diesel. ReadiDiesel is a 100% renewable biofuel.

The SDTS took on approximately 18,000 gallons of ReadiDiesel in San Diego, California.  In all, ARA provided 79,000 gallons of ReadiDiesel for the test program.

The objective of this particular test was twofold: first, to demonstrate that ReadiDiesel is a drop-in replacement for petroleum-sourced F-76 marine diesel, meaning that it requires no blending with petroleum-derived fuels, equipment modifications or operational modifications by the crew; and second, to ensure that this renewable fuel performs equally to, or better than, existing petroleum-derived fuels. The renewable diesel fuel powered the Self Defense Test Ship’s General Electric LM-2500 gas-turbine engine and a Rolls Royce 501 K-17 gas-turbine generator.

The test period lasted approximately 12 hours along the Southern California Coast, while enroute from San Diego to Port Hueneme. Navy engineers monitored the performance of the gas-turbine engines and generators while running on petroleum F-76 prior to taking on the ReadiDiesel to establish a baseline for comparison.  While operating on 100% ReadiDiesel, the ship successfully completed multiple engine starts and speed changes. There were no mechanical, operational or qualitative differences when operating on ReadiDiesel.

The data collected from the trial will be fully analyzed and the results summarized in a final report. Prior to testing aboard the SDTS, ReadiDiesel went through fit-for-purpose, component, and full-scale engine testing.

ReadiDiese, termed Catalytic Hydrothermolysis Conversion Diesel (CHCD-76) by the Navy, is a military grade drop-in replacement for traditional F-76 that is produced from fats, oils, and greases by the Biofuels ISOCONVERSION process. ReadiDiesel has the same molecular composition, boiling range distribution, and physical and energy density as petroleum fuels, but reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 80% compared to petroleum.

ARA and Chevron Lummus Global are currently engineering the first commercial-scale Biofuels ISOCONVERSION refinery for its licensee, UrbanX Renewables Group. The 5,000 barrel-per-day refinery will be located in Southern California and will produce renewable diesel, jet, and naphtha from ultra-low carbon intensity waste oil feedstocks.  “We are continuing to take important, deliberate steps toward our goal of commercial scale production of 100 percent drop-in diesel and jet fuel from waste oils at prices competitive with their petroleum counterparts,” said Red.

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