The BioFuels program seeks to develop renewable jet fuel (JP-8) for military aviation that meets or exceeds JP-8 performance metrics to help reduce the military’s dependence on traditional petroleum-derived fuels. These renewable fuels are derived from cellulosic materials and algal species that don’t compete with consumable food crops. The cellulosic material conversion process aims to demonstrate technology to enable 50% energy conversion efficiency in the conversion of cellulosic material feedstock to JP-8.
The bio-derived JP-8 is intended to be a “drop-in” fuel that can be integrated without modification to current fuel storage and engine systems. Initial efforts focused on the conversion of crop oil triglycerides to JP-8. Additional efforts expanded the spectrum of convertible feedstock to cellulosic, algal, and other similar materials, enabling a diversified feedstock portfolio that can meet DoD needs within a sustainable commercial framework.
The BioFuels program continues to make progress converting cellulosic and algae feedstocks to JP-8.
Performers funded under the effort include teams led by General Atomics (algae) and Logos Technologies (cellulosic). Program accomplishments to date include:
The initial algae effort ended successfully, and DARPA is considering options to facilitate further development of algae-derived biofuels. The cellulosic effort is ongoing.
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