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A Ship Has Been Refuelled With Biofuel For The First Time

A biofuel blend derived primarily from sewage and cooking oil has been successfully used to refuel a cargo ship for the very first time at the bunkering hub in Singapore.

The Kira Oldenorff, owned and operated by BHP, was successfully refuelled with a biofuel blend supplied by GoodFuels that was mixed with conventional biofuels that reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 90 per cent compared to heavy fuel oil.

This was part of a trial to determine how conventional tankers handle biofuels and the effect they have on performance. This will determine how viable biofuels are right now, and how much modification is required in large scale tankers in the future.

The blend worked with no modifications required to the Kira Oldenorff.

Currently, many tankers are fitted with heavy fuel oil, a relatively low-cost fuel that can produce a lot of carbon dioxide and is being gradually phased out in favour of more ecologically sustainable alternatives.

Biofuels are fuels that are derived from natural materials such as plants, food waste and algae, which go through several processes to convert them from feedstock into either liquid or gas fuels that can be used as-is or modified with additives to make them work better with certain engines.

This process requires the use of tanks with vacuum relief valves, to ensure safe storage of the fuels.

As well as biofuels, BHP is looking into the use of liquid petroleum gas to meet its target of reducing carbon emissions by 40 per cent by the year 2030.