The U.S. Navy is the largest user of diesel in the world. And by June 1, 2005, all of the non-tactical diesel vehicles will operate on a blend of 20% biodiesel fuel (B20).
The U.S. Navy, Army, Air Force and Marine Corps all use B20, a mixture of 20% biodiesel and 80% diesel, at different bases and stations throughout the country.
"We commend the Navy for its leadership role in advancing the use of biodiesel and other alternative fuels," says Joe Jobe, NBB executive director. "With the U.S. importing more than half of all oil consumed, turning to domestic energy sources like biodiesel is critical. The Navy is setting a positive example for the rest of the nation with this new policy."
Jobe adds that the Navy is charged with protecting shipping routes to import petroleum to the United States. "Naval leaders clearly recognize the responsibility the Navy has to reduce its own use of petroleum, and we commend them for that," he says.
A January 18, 2005 Navy memo provided guidance for biodiesel use including that it can be supplied by the Defense Energy Support Center (DESC) and used where adequate fuel tanks are available. The policy does not apply to tactical military equipment or deployable commercial equipment intended to support contingency operations.
In 2003, Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) in Port Hueneme, Calif. began a unique pilot program making biodiesel from its own biodiesel processing unit. Eventually, the Navy could send portable biodiesel processing units overseas to produce its own fuel while on missions abroad. This could give the U.S. military a tactical advantage should fuel supplies be compromised.
Other Naval facilities that use biodiesel include: Navy Public Works Center San Diego, Calif.; Naval Facilities Engineering Command Washington, DC; Navy Public Works Center Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Naval Air Station JRB Willow Grove, Pa.; Commander of Navy Region Northwest, Everett, Wash.; Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Puget Sound, Bremerton, Wash.
Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel to have fully completed the rigorous Health Effects testing required by the Clean Air Act. Results show biodiesel poses significantly less of a risk to human health than petroleum diesel.
The Environmental Protection Agencyâ€™s (EPA) comprehensive technical report of biodiesel emissions data shows the exhaust emissions of particulate matter from pure biodiesel are about 47% lower than overall particulate matter emissions from diesel. Breathing particulate has been shown to be a human health hazard. Biodiesel emissions also reduce by 80 to 90% potential cancer causing compounds called Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) and nitrated PAH. Biodiesel also reduces emissions of total unburned hydrocarbons, a contributing factor to smog and ozone, by about 68%. Carbon monoxide is reduced by about 48%.