The Navy provided U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Henry Blake (WLM 563) with a 50/50 blend of F-76 and hydro-processed renewable diesel (HRD-76), June 20, to examine the feasibility of using renewable diesel fuel in Coast Guard cutters.
The ship was identified as a good candidate for an initial Coast Guard test because of the make and model of the cutter engines and the availability of HRD-76 at the cutter's existing fuel supply depot.
"The fuel provided was purchased by Defense Logistics Agency in 2010 for research, development and qualification testing, and had been staged in the area for our operational demonstrations last year in Self Defense Test Ship and USS Ford (FFG 54)," said Richard Leung, NAVSEA's Navy Fuels Engineering manager. "Besides supporting our sister maritime service, this partnership allows us to collect additional data on how the fuel operates in various engines as we continue qualification of 50/50 F-76/HRD-76.
The 175-foot Cutter Henry Blake has a crew of 28 and supports the waterways of the Puget Sound and San Juan Island area by maintaining navigational aids; performing search and rescue; enforcing maritime law; and protecting marine environment. The cutter is expected to operate for several months on the blend, and will perform routine operations while monitoring efficacy and reliability of the 50/50 HRD-76 fuel.
"Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) pipeline will increasingly contain biofuels as these fuels become commercially available and cost competitive with petroleum," said Fuel Section Chief Sam Alvord, Coast Guard Office of Energy Management.
To learn more about Naval Sea Systems Command's alternative fuel efforts, visit http://www.navsea.navy.mil/OnWatch/home.html.