Aquaculture for all

Salmon farm waste fuels motor launch

Atlantic Salmon Climate change Sustainability +5 more

In a world first, a fuel produced from waste from Scottish salmon farms has been successfully used to power a motor launch.

GFR successfully demonstrated the use of unblended sustainable marine fuel (SMF) at Eglwys Nunydd Reservoir near Port Talbot, South Wales in a Beta Marine B14 engine aboard a motor launch maintained by C-Fury Limited.

The 100 percent 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 Green Fuels Research (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.

Simon Mcloughlin, C-Fury managing director, added: “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.

Founded in 2003, Green Fuels has now supplied biofuel equipment to customers in more than 80 countries. Having identified aviation and marine as strategic fuel markets of the future, Green Fuels Research was established in 2014 to develop IP in these areas. The group has attracted £9 million in direct and indirect research grant funding to date, with R&D facilities in Berkeley, Gloucestershire.

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