UK ferry company to trial use of biofuel

4 May 2018 |

A UK-based ferry company is trialling the use of a biofuel to be combined with low-sulphur marine gas oil that, if successful, could herald wider use in passenger ships.

Red Funnel, which operates ferries between Southampton and the Isle of Wight on England's south coast, said this week it has teamed up with Green Biofuels, a supplier of Green D+, a 'drop-in' biofuel that cuts greenhouse gas emissions 50-90% per unit compared with regular diesel.

The company did not specify what proportion of regular diesel would be substituted in favour of Green D+, saying, "the purpose of the trial is to find the optimum HVO/gas oil mix. Once ascertained, we should be able to calculate the percentage reduction.”

Green Biofuels is a producer of Green D+ fuel that is formulated by using a patented performance additive to HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) renewable diesel and is price competitive with regular diesel in view of government subsidies.

Finnish biofuels producer Neste supplies the HVO in Green D+ from waste and residues (such as used cooking oil and waste fats from the food processing industry) in addition to plant oils (such as palm oil and rapeseed oil).

Red Funnel said the use of Green D+ would have an important co-benefit in terms of reducing particulate emissions.

The marine sector is under pressure to reduce its emissions after the UN's shipping agency, the International Maritime Organisation, last month agreed to cut emissions at least 50% by 2050 from 2008 levels.

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