Sustainable marine fuels pilot program rolls out in Florida

Published On: July 10, 2024Categories: Industry News, News

To help reduce the 0.1% of global carbon emissions from recreational boating, a pilot program involving sustainable marine fuels is now taking place at St. Andrews Marina in Panama City, Fla. The program makes new high-performance, 93 octane, ethanol-free premium gasoline available to boaters for the first time at a local marina. Sustainable marine fuel has the potential to reduce recreational boating propulsion emissions by as much as 90% without compromising range or performance.

Because of the variety of diverse boat types and their varied use cases, recent research shows there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to reduce carbon emissions in recreational boat propulsion. However, with an estimated 12 million recreational boats on the water today in the U.S. and with recreational boats having a lifespan of as many as 50 years, sustainable marine fuels can provide immediate carbon emissions reductions from existing boat propulsion systems. Sustainable marine fuels are made from cooking oil waste, animal fats, plant-based materials and other green refining methods and can be “dropped in” to powerboat engines without changes or modifications to the current fuel systems.

Beginning in July, Purfuels gasoline, a partially renewable gasoline produced by Hyperfuels, will be available at St. Andrews Marina. Florida is the number one boating state in the U.S., with more than one million registered boats and generating $31 billion for the state’s economy annually. The pilot program, in partnership with Suzuki Marine, a multinational mobility manufacturer, will help identify the process and systems needed to ship, store and distribute sustainable marine fuels, so this information can help shape distribution models around the country and globe.

Hyperfuels has been focused on the development of sustainable marine fuels in Texas for several years, first with renewable isobutanol and now with IDEAL EMP from LyondellBasell. IDEAL EMP is a non-alcohol, high-octane blendstock with renewable content, for the ethanol-free gasoline market. Purfuels will be distributed by SC Rowe, a locally owned fuel business, with three generations of service to the Panama City area. This specific formulation of Purfuels™ reduces CO2 emissions by up to 30% more than E10 fuels at the same renewable content and is a first step in reducing carbon emissions from recreational boating. Future fuels, such as synthetic or e-fuels, have the potential to become fully carbon neutral.

For the past 20 years, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and industry partners have reduced U.S. recreational boating emissions by more than 90% and increased fuel efficiency by more than 40%. As part of the global recreational marine industry’s work to further decarbonize, the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) released findings from their Pathways to Propulsion Decarbonisation for the Recreational Marine Industry research and launched the Propelling Our Future educational initiative in 2023, which aims to raise awareness of the variety of technology solutions needed to continue to reduce boating emissions in the future.