Skip to main content


Advancements in Marine Fuel and Energy

9 July 2024

Over the years, the marine fuel sector has experienced significant advancements, driven by a growing need for sustainability and efficiency. At Peninsula, we are at the forefront of these advancements, ensuring that our clients benefit from the latest in marine energy technology. 

This article will explore the options that Peninsula supplies and provide a technical breakdown of these marine fuel alternatives and their advantages. 

The Shift to Sustainable Yacht Fuels

One of the most significant advancements in marine energy is the shift towards sustainable fuels. Traditional marine fuels, such as diesel, are being supplemented and, in some cases, replaced by cleaner alternatives. 

Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) is notable among these, as it is a biofuel made from renewable sources like vegetable oils and animal fats. HVO offers several advantages over conventional diesel, such as up to  90% reduction in CO2 emissions, higher energy content than regular fuel, and better combustion properties, resulting in less engine strain and reduced exhaust smoke. 

Peninsula’s BFuture HVO is a prime example of this innovation, offering a sustainable, high-performance fuel option for the yachting sector. Using second-generation HVO, BFuture maximises emission reductions and supports environmental protection efforts.

The technical characteristics of HVO

The high cetane number of HVO ensures more complete combustion, translating to cleaner engine operation and less strain on engine components. It can be used in its pure form (100% concentration) or blended in any desired ratio, such as HVO20 (20% HVO and 80% diesel), providing flexibility in its application. Also, HVO has virtually no sulfur content and significantly reduces exhaust smoke by approximately 35%, helping to maintain cleaner filters and overall engine health.

The production of HVO involves the hydrotreatment of waste vegetable oils and fats. In this process, hydrogen removes oxygen from vegetable oil molecules, splitting them into separate hydrocarbon chains equivalent to those found in conventional fossil diesel. The result is a fuel that is functionally identical to diesel, allowing it to be used as a direct, drop-in alternative without needing engine modifications.

When comparing HVO to traditional diesel, several differences stand out. HVO is derived from vegetable oils and fats, whereas petroleum produces diesel. The density of HVO at 15ºC is 0.835 g/cm³, compared to diesel’s range of 0.765-0.800 g/cm³. HVO has a viscosity at 40ºC of 3.5 mm²/s, while diesel ranges from 2.0-4.5 mm²/s. The sulfur content in HVO is less than 5 ppm, significantly lower than diesel’s 10 ppm. 

All this contributes to HVO being a sustainable and efficient alternative to traditional marine diesel, aligning with the growing emphasis on reducing environmental impact in the maritime industry. In this blog, you can learn more about our sustainable offering, such as the work we do with Yacht Carbon Offest, a specialised environmental service company dedicated to minimising the overall environmental impact of the superyacht industry. 

Other sustainable yacht fuels

Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), also known as road diesel, is widely used in road vehicles and marine vessels, boasting a maximum sulfur content of 10 ppm, earning it the designation of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD). While not controlled by an international body, the European standard EN 590 mandates that AGO sold in the EU and several other European countries must meet specific physical properties, including a sulfur cap of 10 ppm and the allowance of up to 7% Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME).

FAME, a biodiesel derived from renewable sources, is considered for its potential to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) and sulfur emissions (SOx) in the marine industry. Despite its benefits, FAME poses challenges, such as an affinity for water, leading to microbial growth. Consequently, most AGO supplied to yachts is specified as FAME-free. 

You can read more about our marine fuel solutions in this comprehensive blog.

The Role of Peninsula Yacht Services

At Peninsula Yacht Services, we are dedicated to integrating these advancements into our offerings. Our global network ensures that we can provide the latest in sustainable fuels, advanced propulsion solutions, and smart energy management tools. By staying ahead of industry trends and continuously improving our services, we help our clients achieve greater efficiency and sustainability in their yachting operations.

From Monaco to Gibraltar, London to Fort Lauderdale, our commitment to innovation and excellence in marine energy solutions remains unwavering.

For more information on our services and how we can support your sustainable yachting journey, you can read about our sustainable innovations here.