American Chemistry MattersA Blog of the American Chemistry Council

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At 237 years old, the U.S. Army finds youth in innovation

The United States Army is about one year and three weeks older than the nation it serves, and, like any older sibling, it has played a vital role in protecting “younger” generations for nearly two and a half centuries.

Even today, the U.S. Army continues to show signs of positive growth through energy innovation.

In fiscal year 2009, the U.S. military as a whole consumed 932 trillion Btu of site delivered energy, at a cost of 13.3 billion dollars. Clearly, Sharon Burke, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), saw room for improvement.

Thanks in large part to Burke and other DoD leaders, we are now witnessing the ongoing development of innovations that promote energy efficiency and renewable energy, including 27 new projects that demonstrate emerging energy technologies on military installations.

Last year, the Pew Charitable Trusts released a report detailing the progress DoD has made on the accelerated development of energy efficiency and energy renewable technologies. Among the mission-critical priorities influencing DoD’s actions: keeping American troops out of harm’s way, enhancing energy security and saving our country money.

That’s where chemistry and the U.S. military work especially well together. Members of the American Chemistry Council — a mere 140-year-old organization — supply the U.S. military with safety-enhancing products and energy-efficient battlefield technologies in an effort to protect our troops’ safety and well-being as they work to protect ours, and to reduce overall cost.

Chemistry goes into the development of bullet-protective ceramics for lightweight body armor, smart fabrics, food preservation, fuel additives, insulation for tents and buildings, advanced batteries for portable energy storage, and photovoltaics for solar power in remote areas. These technologies will help to protect lives, extend capabilities and support mission success for brave generations to come.

ACC would like to congratulate all our troops, past and present, for reaching this historic milestone. And we wish the U.S. Army a Happy 237th Birthday!

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