Department of Defense Report to Congress on Synthetic Fuel Utilization
Rept. to Congress
OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF DEFENSE RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING WASHINGTON DC
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Synthetic fuels, or synfuels, have similar chemical properties as petroleum-based fuels and can be comingled in the distribution system but are produced from nontraditional sources. Synthetic fuels are not refined from petroleum, but are produced from non-petroleum sources such as coal, natural gas, and biomass. Synthetic fuels are a subset of alternative fuels. The Department purchases fuel from distributors at particular locations worldwide, and the specifications and refining processes vary depending on the area. For example, in Europe, for aviation fuel, the Department uses Jet A-1, and in Canada, Jet-A. Our goal is to be able to use fuel derived from any source and process. However, within the U.S., we are considering the use of synthetic fuel as an alternative to petroleum-based fuels, thereby reducing our dependence on non-assured sources of oil and positively impacting the U.S. economy by initiating a domestic market in such alternative fuels. The Department acquires fuel worldwide from refiners manufacturing products to both commercial and military specifications using various refining processes. Commercial specification fuel is typically purchased at commercial airports and seaports in accordance with commercial specifications and operating procedures, and commercial specification fuels are also acquired for installation motor pool and power plant operations. DoD also procures large volumes of military specification fuel for storage and distribution in support of the Departments mobility fuel requirements i.e., ships and aircraft. Our goal is to be able to use fuel derived from any source or process with an emphasis on using synthetically derived fuels.