Danish shortsea operator DFDS will become the marine testbed for a new biofuel after investing DKK10M (US$1.5M) in Mash Energy.
The investment – in three tranches culminating in a total stake of 24% - makes DFDS a co-owner of the company and jointly responsible for developing a commercially viable product. The companies plan to prepare a test of the fuel in a DFDS ship’s engine.
“The investment is a result of our ambition to take responsibility for the development of commercially viable biofuel that is a real alternative to fossil fuels,” said DFDS head of corporate social responsibility Sofie Hebeltoft. “In the long term, the aim is to produce enough quantities to make the biofuel commercially viable and work towards identifying other waste products that can be used to produce bio-fuel.”
MASH Energy has developed a low-cost method of producing biofuel from the by-products of nut processing in Tanzania and India. During growth season, the nut trees absorb CO2 that is emitted when the biofuel is combusted, meaning that the biofuel is carbon neutral. The byproduct, biochar, binds CO2 during the production process and is an efficient fertiliser, promoting additional plant growth to absorb atmospheric CO2.
The biofuel reactor is built by the company’s employees in in India. The technology is already being used as part of an UN-supported project in Tanzania to produce biofuel.
“We are extremely pleased to get the opportunity to test the biofuel in engines and verify that our product is indeed of the quality and price necessary for it to succeed in the shipping industry,” said Mash CEO Jakob Andersen.