BREWSTER — Sailors have used alternative fuels on the high seas for a lot longer than people on land have – think sails.
But in today's world are there viable alternatives to oil and gas than can help hard-pressed fishermen keep on fishing in our world of restrictions?
Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fisherman's Association hosted a seminar for local Fishermen on alternative fuels Wednesday evening.
Fisherman Jan Margeson has added a hydrogen electrolyzer to his boat.
"It's like a tube, with two electrodes and it uses distilled water and makes hydrogen gas that goes into the turbocharger and produces cleaner combustion in the cylinder," he explained. "It cleans a lot of the carbon out of the engine and the exhaust. Usually there is a lot of carbon in a diesel engine. That alone is a big plus. So it's cleaning that up and is supposed to improve the mileage."
The fuel cell is used in conjunction with Margeson's regular engine. He has noticed improved efficiency and hopes to see more as the engine cleans up and hopefully it won't be long before the $3,000 fuel cell is a profitable investment.
"I think there's been a 5 percent increase in fuel (mileage). It's already paying for itself and cleaning the engine. I can see a big difference," Margeson said. "We've been running to southern New England a 12-hour day each way, we go 100 miles offshore so we're getting there [to a payoff] quickly."
Last year Margeson spent more than $40,000 on fuel so even a 5 percent savings is significant.
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