OU researchers selected by Navy

October 01, 2010

A University of Oklahoma research team has been awarded a $4.5 million grant for a three-year period with a two-year option for $2.9 million--a five-year total of $7.5 million--from the Office of Naval Research for a multidisciplinary university research initiative to assess the biological stability of current naval fuels and future synthetic fuels and their impact on biocorrosion.

Joseph M. Suflita, OU professor in the Department of Botany and Microbiology, Institute for Energy and the Environment, will lead the MURI project, which includes team members from Oklahoma State University, Montana State University and Colorado School of Mines.

According to Suflita, "The Navy has experienced particular challenges with the integration of alternate fuels in tactical ships and aircraft. First-generation biodiesel formulations were found unacceptable because they tended to accelerate metal corrosion."

The MURI team will explore scientific issues that lead to new knowledge, understanding and technology for the prediction, diagnosis and mitigation of fuel biodeterioration and biocorrosion problems impacting the U.S. Navy.

Methods will be developed to evaluate the biological stability of current and next-generation fuels, measure the impact of new fuel formulations on biocorrosion activity, assess potential mitigation efforts and predict fuel biodeterioration and biocorrosion properties, thereby assisting the Navy in selecting future biofuels.

The research effort will provide a scientific defensible basis for assessing the biological stability of alternate fuels and their impact on biocorrosion. The knowledge gained will also benefit the public and lead to better tools for monitoring and mitigating problems in the fuel delivery infrastructure and for assessing the risks associated with biofuel and synthetic fuel use.
-end-


University of Oklahoma

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