Patent Issued for Glycerol-Containing Fuel
Maine Maritime Academy faculty member, Dr. George Harakas, has co-authored a patent with colleague and business partner, Scott Eaton, for glycerol-containing fuel aimed at reducing emissions in large diesel engines.
The two are members of the SeaChange Group LLC a private company formed in 2009 to develop low-emissions fuels. They recently received notice from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that patent # 8,679,202 was formally issued.
SeaChange Group (SCG) is an entrepreneurial high-tech start-up with strong ties to Maine Maritime Academy. The company is developing Eco-Hybrid fuel technology, a low-cost, low-emissions ‘drop-in’ fuel for marine, rail and power-generation industries. SCG has received funding from the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, the Maine Technology Institute, and seed money from industry.
The eco-hybrid fuel (EHF) is composed of an emulsified blend of glycerol and diesel fuels with a proprietary surfactant blend is used to stabilize the glycerol droplets. Glycerol is an oxygen containing molecule, and under suitable conditions, its addition to a fuel reduces NOx, SOx, PM emissions.
“We are currently testing Eco-Hybrid fuels on work boats at Maine Maritime Academy,” said Dr. Richard Kimball, Professor of Engineering. “We’ll be evaluating fuel performance through sea trials as part of the METEL mission, which is to research and develop practical solutions for emissions reductions and efficiency for marine diesel engines.”