The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is looking for alternative fuels for our military jets. The department has started a program called BioFuels that will find companies who can produce 100 liters of biofuel that can replace the JP-8 standard military aviation fuel.
According to the DARPA announcement the Defense Department wants to “reduce the military’s reliance on oil to power its aircraft, ground vehicles and non-nuclear ships.”
DARPA plans on achieving 60 percent efficient conversion from crop oil to the bio-alternative JP-8 and hopes to hit 90 percent afterwards. Currently biodiesel fuels don’t provide enough power and are too thick at low temperatures.
JP-8 stands for “jet propellant” and is based on kerosene. It is not only used in aircraft, but also in M1 Abrams main battle tanks and on ships.