USACE Biodiesel Initiative

Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. (BHGI) was tasked by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to study the viability of using various types of biodiesel on its vessels. This study focused on both power output and environmental and emissions effects of the various fuels, relative to the current fuel source. In accomplishing these goals, BHGI conducted on-site inspections and assessments of nine USACE vessels throughout the United States. These vessels varied in type and size from small inland towboats to diesel electric dust pan dredges and even ocean going hopper dredges. Each vessel was inspected to identify the best way to install fuel flow analysis, torque analysis and emissions analysis equipment for data logging during testing with the various plant types. BHGI developed trip reports which included cost estimates for the required modifications. BHGI developed a report to assist the USACE in determining which of it various vessels was a candidate to be modified to be able to run on LNG fuel. This study included determining the environmental effects of switching to LNG. The study included a market survey of the various engine manufacturers and aftermarket conversion companies to determine what options were viable. The report also included naval architecture and marine engineering analysis including stability and weight estimates of the vessels to determine if they could accommodate the changes and additional tanks.