Newt Gingrich may mock algae as a source of clean fuel, but the U.S. Navy's got no problem with it. In fact, the Navy is extending - literally - its use of biofuels derived from the stuff.
Last November, a remotely controlled destroyer using a 50-50 blend of algae-derived, hydro-processed oil and a standard petroleum fuel made a 17-hour trek 150 or so miles up the California coast from San Diego to the Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme.
That was the Navy's largest-scale alt-fuel demo - until now. According to Solazyme, the U.S. Navy Frigate fleet ship USS Ford just sailed from its homeport in Everett, Wash., down to San Diego using 25,000 gallons of the company's Soladiesel blended in even proportions with F-76 military diesel.
Solazyme didn't say exactly how far the trip was, but charts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [PDF] peg the distance from Seattle (about 30 miles south of Everett) to San Diego at 1,228 nautical miles.