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Why We Power Our Vessels with Hydrogen

Sep 7, 2022


For decades, hydrogen has been considered a viable alternative fuel and an essential means of decarbonizing most major transportation methods. Thanks to the United States Energy Policy Act of 1992, all aspects of energy supply and demand are getting addressed. 

The growing importance of switching to hydrogen fuel is one of the major reasons why we have chosen hydrogen to power our zero-emissions hydrofoil container ship, ARGO.

The advantages of hydrogen as a source of fuel are too big to ignore. In fact, hydrogen’s benefits as a zero-emissions energy source are why many major industrial sectors are making the move toward decarbonization. 

Achieve Longer Distances in Record Time

Hydrogen not only powers vessels for longer periods of time than gasoline or other carbon-producing fuels, but it also requires a very short refuel time. ARGO is able to travel up to 1500NM before needing to refuel, with incredibly short unloading times that last under 2 hours.

Learn more about ARGO

Using hydrogen fuel, ARGO can travel exponentially further than our battery-powered ferry, ELCTRA, which can travel up to 80NM at a time using battery cells. ARGO is focused on direct service routes with no stops in between, meeting similar door-to-door delivery times as air freight at a cruise speed of 40 knots.

Zero Emissions From the Start

Hydrogen is produced in a number of different ways. Our hydrogen production process turns hydrogen into efficient fuel cells, which do not emit any CO2 or other greenhouse gasses at any point in the energy-burning process. Once turned into a fuel cell, hydrogen only emits hot air and vaporized water.

Hydrogen is one of the key pillars of decarbonizing all global energy usage, which is why it is so exciting that several top dogs across big industry sectors are committing to the advancement of research into hydrogen and other net-zero energy alternatives.

High Energy Content Per Weight

Batteries sustain a small energy efficiency value at just 0.3 MJ/kg, which is a much lower energy density than what we see with hydrogen. The zero-emissions fuel is almost three times more efficient, measuring at a whopping 120 MJ per kilogram. This makes hydrogen almost 400 times more efficient than batteries when it comes to long-distance, high-value cargo shipping. While it’s still important to consider the differences in system efficiency, H2 still comes out on top as the clear winner when compared to batteries.

Not to mention, there is far more research being done on hydrogen and the continuing ways that hydrogen can be broken down into fuel than with other fuel alternatives. It is possible to break ammonia down into hydrogen, but most private and government spending goes to electrolyzers and the advancement of existing hydrogen production plants. 

Hydrogen Will Power the Future of Ocean Transport

It is no secret that hydrogen is the preferred alternative fuel source for vessels to create zero carbon emissions. It is dense with energy, easy to break down, and continuously sustainable. Hydrogen will get you farther than gasoline without leaving behind any kind of carbon footprint. 

Follow Boundary Layer Technologies to see how we are achieving our mission of reducing global GHG emissions by 1%. 

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