The military is the single largest consumer of oil in the United States, using over 400,000 barrels per day to power a fleet of tanks, helicopters and armored personnel carriers. Needless to say, many of America's oil suppliers aren't the most reliable nations in the world. That's why military sources have begun exploring algae-based biofuels to break our use of foreign oil.
As American and coalition troops enter into combat operations in Libya, the question of securing oil supplies for bombing runs and resupply routes is now paramount. Oil prices have crept over $103 per barrel as instability rocks world markets. The military is trying to stay ahead of the curve by exploring long-term solutions to budget and supply problems.
When Planet Forward taped its PBS special, we made it a point to ask our panel of policy experts and energy innovators about military investment in algae biofuel research. We invited Rear Admiral Philip Cullom to give his thoughts about manning a naval vessel running on algae.
It was a Wright Brothers moment. That was the first time that a marine vessel had been operated on an algae based bio-fuel. It had never been done before. It actually performed exceedingly well no degradation, no degradation of combat capability.
Are you working on the next big biofuel project? Do you have experience in developing alternative fuel? Weigh in on the military's plan and share your own thoughts and videos at Planet Forward, and be sure to check out the Planet Forward PBS Special, airing this April.