The 300 meter-long (980 feet) container ship has a dedicated auxiliary test engine, which reduces the risks of testing, and its fuels system has special biofuel blending equipment. Maersk says that these two key attributes that make it a suitable vessel for biofuel testing.
During its month-long, 6,500 nautical mile voyage from Bremerhaven, Germany, to Pipavav, India, the ship will use 30 tons of biofuel. Engineers and crew onboard are testing blends ranging from 7 percent to 100 percent.
The team is also analyzing emissions data on nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, CO2 and particulate matter from the fuel use, along with effects on power efficiency and engine wear and tear. Tests are scheduled to conclude in early December with an analysis of results following soon thereafter.
In December, the Navy placed the world’s largest advanced biofuel order of 425,000 gallons with Dynamic Fuels LLC, a joint venture between Tyson Foods Inc. and Syntroleum Corporation; and bioproducts company Solazyme Inc. A month prior, it sent a destroyer ship powered by Solazyme’s algae-based fuel on a 20-hour trip along the California coast.
In other biofuels news, FuelCell Energy Inc. has announced a partnership agreement with Abengoa S.A. to develop localized stationary fuel cell power plants. The companies will target markets in Europe and Latin America, and Abengoa will also work to develop a process to let the cells run on liquid biofuels.
Picture credit: Gary Faux/Wikimedia Commons