The WHIX program fosters collaboration between the U.S. and the Western Hemisphere militaries by demonstrating and validating innovative technologies that support common objectives. One common area of interest for military operations is the capacity to provide energy in situations where the lack of and/or difficulty in transporting fuel preclude use of traditional imported fossil fuels. In a joint effort to foster more robust energy security in the Americas, the WHIX 07 project addressed biofuels, more specifically, the use of biodiesel in support of U.S. and Panamanian military requirements to reduce logistical footprints, while maintaining vehicle performance and environmental quality standards.
The objective of the project was to document the results obtained conducted jointly for US Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM), with Panama’s National Sea and Air Service (Servicio Nacional Aeronaval—SENAN) FIU’s Applied Research Center (ARC) and Universidad Tecnológica de Panama (UTP). The project consisted of two distinct areas of research and demonstrations/validations areas;
Batch production of biodiesel from local feedstocks: Waste Oil, Corn Oil and African Palm Oil
Testing these fuels in three types of engines;
TESTING at ARC/FIU
a.) Small diesel engines test of biodiesel for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) using: Peanut Oil, Jatropha Oil, Corn Oil and Canola Oil.
TESTING in PANAMA UTP/ARC/FIU
For the land vehicle and marine engine testing, each bio-fuel feedstock was locally procured in Panama and mixed by FIU and UTP scientists to be tested in the designated engines in mixtures of 5%, 20%, 50% and 100% biofuel mixtures. Each mixture was tested in the selected engine in order to determine engine performance and emissions. Specifically, researchers evaluated each engine’s performance— Maximum Horsepower and Maximum Engine Speed while evaluating emissions such as Hydrocarbon Content (HC) Carbon Monoxide (CO), Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Oxygen (O2) and Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and recording ambient temperatures, pressures and humidity.
b.) Land Vehicles Testing
c.) Marine Engine Testing.