An important stage on the long voyage to marine transport decarbonisation was reached yesterday when Green Fuels Research (GFR), a pioneer in renewable fuels, successfully demonstrated use of unblended sustainable marine fuel (SMF) at Eglwys Nunydd Reservoir near Port Talbot, South Wales. The fuel was used in a Beta Marine B14 engine aboard a motor launch maintained by C-Fury Limited.
The 100% renewable fuel demonstration was the culmination of SALMO (Sustainable Aquaculture Leading to Marine Opportunities), a Maritime Research and Innovation UK (MarRI-UK) initiative supported by the UK Department for Transport. The project, a collaboration between GFR, the University of Cardiff and Lancaster University, addressed two challenges: decarbonisation of UK shipping and sustainable management of animal by-product (ABP) waste from UK aquaculture.
“We are thrilled to have proved today, in UK waters, that this truly sustainable hydrocarbon is comparable in properties to marine distillates and suitable as a drop-in fuel for marine engines, without modification to propulsion or fuel systems, and without additives or restrictions on blend percentages,” said GFR Chief Strategy Officer Dr Paul Hilditch.
Responding, Simon Mcloughlin, C-Fury Managing Director, commented “This has been an exciting day for us, and we hope that our accomplishment today will help to dissipate any concerns from shipowners about engine compatibility, fuel stability or safety.”
From a technical standpoint, the fuel is in compliance with sulphur ISO/PAS 23263 for petroleum products (Fuels class F), an important consideration for fuel suppliers and users in view of the implementation of the maximum 0.50 % sulphur limit since 2020. Additionally, the fact that it is derived from waste ensures that the end-product is highly sustainable and fully biogenic, and thus a truly zero-carbon fuel.