The surging petroleum and diesel prices have always motivated man to think different and invent efficient and greener sources of fuel for automobiles also known as bio-fuels. This long standing process has helped unveil numerous bio-fuels and alternative energy sources to empower automobiles. Boats in particular have always relied on petroleum and diesel to run smoothly. And so inventing an eco-friendly boat which could run on bio-fuels is definitely quite a discovery of sorts.
In early 2007, a New Zealand based oil exploration engineer Pete Bethune made his initial attempt at developing a unique eco-friendly boat which ran on alternative fuel sources such as bio-diesel. The potential for alternative fuels always ranked high in his foresight and this inspired him to showcase to the world that it was not just a thought but could be implemented too. His idea was to create a world record by circumnavigating the world in a power boat with bio-fuels. Though this initiative started as early as March 2007, some delays and an accident forced him to restart the journey in March 2008, which was successfully completed in a period of 61 days. This led to the invention of the first Eco-boat namely Earthrace.
In 2007, Pete Bethune with a vision of projecting the importance of bio-diesel as an alternative fuel, set out on inventing the first eco-boat called as Earthrace which he captained. With a number of hurdles and financial problems, he carried on with his research and designed an unique power boat. His ambition was to create a world record in travelling the world in this eco-boat with bio-diesel as fuel and thereby gaining worldwide attention. The source of bio-diesel was a mobile bio-diesel tank. The journey began in March 2007, however had to be cut short due to a technical snag followed by an unfortunate accident with a fishing boat which proved troublesome for him. The second time he restarted the journey things were ensured so that there was no stopping this noble invention. The entire trip was completed in 61 days approximately thereby beating the world record by 2 weeks. This garnered enough worldwide attention and promoted the use of bio-diesel as an alternative fuel.
The eco-boat is designed to run on bio-diesel. Bio-diesel essentially means fuel obtained from vegetable oils, processed cooking oils and animal fats. The advantage of using bio-diesel is that practically any engine can be filled with it. The engine would require no changes and can be used as it is. It can also be used as a lubricant and has been proven to increase engine life. All other factors related to the engine like mileage, ignition time etc. also remain unaltered. But what drastically changes is the green effect it has on the environment. Bio-diesel on combustion does not release any poisonous gases or toxic waste which could pose a threat to marine ecology.
What are the applications and uses of an eco-boat?
Automobiles and boats have all been traditionally running on petrol and diesel which causes a lot of smoke pollution. By switching on to alternative fuels like bio-diesel, boat owners can contribute a lot in reducing inherent fuel costs. Bio-diesel is not only cheap, it also helps conserve marine life by preventing pollution and toxic waste from reaching the water surface. This effort will help on the long run to safeguard our seas and also is a great return on investment for owners of boats and ships. Government of New Zealand has already ensured that fuel pumps are enriched with 5% bio-diesel and a number of bio-diesel plants are also in operation. This initiative should be practiced all over the world with the same interest and concern to help make the world a better place.