The Triton


Biofuel doesn’t impact engine


The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has recently completed tests of renewable biofuel onboard the training ship State of Michigan that determined it reduced air emissions without any significant difference in engine performance.



The project was part of a MARAD initiative to conduct “at sea” tests of advanced renewable fuels and assess its impact on the ship’s engine. The tests compared operational, vibration and air emission differences between regular ultralow-sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel and a 76/33 blend of ULSD and Amyris Renewable Diesel (ARD) fuel, which is derived from sugar.



No significant differences were found between the test vessel’s use of neat ULSD and the blend in terms of engine performance, fuel economy, air emissions, engine vibration, underwater radiated noise, and effect on the engine itself. The test also found that after seven months storage of the blended fuel at the test location there was no appreciable change in fuel composition or biological contamination.



The State of Michigan is owned by MARAD and operated by the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City, Michigan. The vessel is a diesel-electric drive vessel with four propulsion diesel generators and two propulsion motors.



To read the full 360-page study, visit, search for “Amyris renewable diesel”, and click on the first link. At the bottom of the abstract, click on “The study can be found here.”

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