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AFRL’s DPA Title III Program Produces Biofuels for DOD and Industry

AFRL C 17Globemaster

In an effort to answer the Administration’s and the Department of Defense’s (DOD) call to create alternative and environmentally friendly fuel sources in light of increasing petroleum costs, the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III Program Office has designed “homegrown” biofuels to expand the military’s energy sources.

Biofuels—fuels produced from living matter such as plant waste and animal fat—are environmentally friendly and easily formed from renewable resources. The creation and utilization of biofuels also have the ability to decrease our nation’s dependence on foreign fuel sources—a benefit that is critical to national security.

James Neely, a program manager in the DPA Title III Program Office—an office which works to advance other domestically produced technologies that assist national security, aside from biofuels—states that the program has big incentives for reducing the DOD budget and for participating industry partners.

“We have unique authorities through Title III, allowing us to enter into partnerships with commercial industry to put a manufacturing capability in place in response to a specific DOD need for technology,” said Neely. “Biofuels are determined as essential to national security; we are working to move the technology into the domestic industrial base, with the end goal of a consistent supply at a competitive cost.” 

Currently, the Title III Program Office is working with numerous industry partners to develop feedstock, acquire equipment, and help the companies develop a business strategy that enables them to sustain the production and distribution of biofuel for DOD and commercial use. The Program Office also is working diligently with industry to transfer the biofuel technology so it is a more affordable option for everyone. 

The Bio-Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (BSPK) project has already proven successful for the Title III Program Office. The project helped to retrofit an idle California-based refinery so that large-scale batches of biofuel could be manufactured for military and industrial use. Early this year, the U.S. Navy also integrated BSPK biofuels for the launch of the first carrier strike group, the great Green Fleet, to use alternative fuel blends and energy-efficient systems to power combat ships.

Industry has also helped to propel the Title III program, with commercial aircraft operators such as United Airlines purchasing biofuel to power regular flights.

To learn more about the DPA Title III program, visit http://www.dpatitle3.com/dpa_db/.

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