Volvo Ocean Race Stays Sustainable Course with Biodiesel

Cindy Zimmerman

Sustainable, local biodiesel is fueling the festivities as the Volvo Ocean Race ports in Rhode Island for its only North American stopover through May 20. A blend of 20 percent biodiesel (B20) is being used in vessels, generators and diesel-powered land vehicles throughout the 13-day event.

The biodiesel for the event is supplied by Newport Biodiesel, a local biodiesel producer, and delivered by T.H. Malloy, a local oil heat dealer. Newport Biodiesel has used recycled cooking grease from restaurant “galleys” throughout New England to produce biodiesel for more than a decade. The partnership with the Volvo Ocean Race has shown great results in the previous stopover, making the event one of the most sustainable in the world.

“During the 2015 stopover, we saved more than 12,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere and we hope to reach a similar or greater amount this year,” said Dr. Robert Morton, Chairman of the Board for Newport Biodiesel. “Biodiesel is an excellent, low carbon alternative to petroleum diesel and a great fit for environmentally-conscience boaters.”

National Biodiesel Board NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen says marine vessels is a growing market for biodiesel. “Biodiesel not only provides similar performance characteristics to diesel but also reduces engine wear and is non-toxic, low carbon and biodegradable, making it less polluting to the ocean and the air. The sponsorship helps showcase biodiesel to the global nautical community.”

Compatible with all diesel engines without modification, biodiesel blends can be used in many types of marine vessels, including inland and ocean-going commercial ships, research vessels, the U.S. Coast Guard Fleet and recreational vessels.