Using Biofuels To Power A Boat – Sustainable Sailing

Boats are machines they are vessels that are commonly used for sea expeditions and summer parties. Yachts and sailboats are some of the most common types of boats that are used for such activities. However, the most significant problem faced by boat owners is the cost of fuel. Different kinds of vesels require different types of fuels.

Petroleum or any gas is made using non-renewable resources like fossil fuels. This makes fuel extremely valuable. In recent times, resources like oil, coal, and fossil fuels are hard to come by as they are considered non-renewable resources. To understand non-renewable resources, they are the kind that take thousands of years to form.

Initially, large yachts are designed to use high-performance fuel due to their massive size; it is because of this requirement that biodiesel is recommended. Larry Lawrence, a marine services director in a company that supplies Florida with quality high-performance fuel, says that most yachts would not want to use standard biodiesel due to the hydro and microbe issues. Biodiesels are not like petroleum-based diesel, they are organic and can be made by almost any type of oil like soybean oil. The most extraordinary thing about this type of fuel is that it is entirely renewable and is created through a process called transesterification.

There are many types of biofuels, and they are used for many purposes. One of the most common kinds of biofuel is wood. It is used as a source for heating.

Below are different types of biofuels that are used every day.

  • Green Diesel – A fuel that is chemically identical to fossil fuel diesel
  • Bio-ethers – A fuel that is added to another fuel to increase performance and decrease emissions
  • Manure – Organic fuel, emits carbon dioxide when processed or burned
  • Biogas – Has the same properties as methane from fossil fuels
  • Dimethylfuran – A fuel that an energy density similar to gasoline, and is toxic for the nervous system and respiratory tract.
  • Methanol – More toxic and has a less energy density than ethanol

Biodiesel is made through the combination of alcohol and soybean oil creating methyl esters which are the chemical name for biodiesel. Biodiesels are tested and approved in the same way as standard petroleum-based fuels are tested. Many companies don’t risk using straight biodiesel for their engines as the components cause many issues. This is why B100- 100% Biodiesel is not used.  The fuel for large vessels like super-yachts is powered with both biodiesel and petroleum-based diesel which is used as a way to reduce issues and supply high energy to the engine.

Before taking your yacht out for another trip or after you return, it is essential that you check your engine for issues and damages. If the tank or engine goes too long without a check-up, the yacht may be at risk as the biodiesel is known to dissolve and erode the tar and gum deposits located in the tank, causing them to clog up. Making sure your fuel tank is repaired, and the fuel deposits are unclogged will ensure that your yacht is in prime condition and working order too.


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