According to BoatSafe.com, a typical marine gasoline engine will have a life span of approximately 1,500 hours before requiring any major repairs while a boat diesel engine will last 5,000 hours.
Typically one gallon of diesel will take 25% more crude oil to produce and will emit approximately 15% more greenhouse gas as compared to one gallon of gasoline. But because it is a much denser fuel than gasoline, it can produce up to 40% more mileage over gasoline which can add up to significant cost savings over time.
So, which boat fuel? It’s been commonly stated that diesel burns cleaner than gas – but is it true? According to several sources, it is and it isn’t. Here’s a quick look at information substantiating both of these claims.
Sulfur and CO² Emissions
Sulfur is a commonly produced emission from both boat diesel and gasoline which can be measured in parts per million or ppm. Since 2007, all diesel vehicles available for sale in the U.S. are required by law to run on a type of diesel fuel known as ultra low sulfur (ULSD).
Recognized sulfur emissions in fuel are as follows:
15 ppm – ULSD
80 ppm – standard gasoline
500 ppm – standard diesel fuel
Diesel – 73.25 g/MJ
Gasoline – 73.38 g/MJ
Another by-product of burning diesel fuel is soot particles, also referred to as black carbon, that pollute the air and are widely considered to be carcinogenic (cancer causing) agents. A report issued by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) states that soot from this fuel is the cause of 70% of California’s cancer risk due to toxic particles in the air. Other research has shown that residents living in cities with soot pollution display a 26% mortality increase. Newer built diesel automobiles are equipped with the latest in technology, such as BlueTec Emissions, which is designed to treat and reduce the toxic nature of exhaust fumes.
It’s possible to improve your fuel economy even more while at the same time reducing emissions by using a boat fuel additive such as Guard Supreme by ValvTect. Designed to extend the life of your engine which can lessen any maintenance costs over time, Diesel Guard Supreme test results shows a 30% reduction of black smoke, a 39% reduction of particulates, plus a improved fuel economy of up to 7.5% for heavy duty vehicles and up to 13.6% for light duty.
When it comes down to boat diesel or gas, diesel does offer a few nice advantages:
- Diesel doesn’t pose the potential CO² poisoning risk that gasoline boat engines produce
- A diesel engine is able to use eco-friendly bio-fuel which offers reduced emissions and better engine performance
- Due to its higher torque, a diesel engine is able to carry a larger load
- generally marine diesel costs less than marine gasoline – click to learn more about marine fuel prices
Flickr.com Photo Credit: Diesel by DanDeChiaro