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Imerys Clean Energy goes fossil-free for the 2018 Route du Rhum

Skippered by Phil Sharp, the Imerys Clean Energy is world's first and only zero emissions Class40 race boat. Phil Sharp is demonstrating novel clean technologies aboard his Class40 Imerys Clean Energy in order that he can be fossil-free for the 3 550 mile Route du Rhum transatlantic race that began November 4.

Skippered by Phil Sharp, the Imerys Clean Energy is world’s first and only zero emissions Class40 race boat taking part in the 2018 edition of the 3 550 mile Route du Rhum transatlantic race that began November 4 (photo courtesy PS Racing).

With improved renewable energy pack aboard, the Imerys Clean Energy will showcase accessible clean-technologies using Imerys solutions, the France-headed world leader in mineral-based specialty solutions for industry. This includes a new biodiesel product innovation, CynerSorb, that optimizes the biodiesel filtration cycle.

The biodiesel is produced and supplied by Renewable Energy Group (REG), the largest US manufacturer of high-performance biofuels and an Imerys customer. The renewable biodiesel is also biodegradable and replaces fossil diesel fuel used for manoeuvring in and out of port, and for backup power when racing.

Cutting-edge low weight solar photovoltaics (PV) is the boat’s primary source of renewable energy. Jointly developed by Energy Challenge and SunPower, the on deck panels incorporate high traction Imerys abrasive minerals that provide a safe, protective non-skid surface and increase the durability of the panels.

The Imerys Clean Energy is also equipped with a hydro-turbine, which is used to generate power through the relative speed of the boat through the water. It captures high power at typically >10 knots, but at the expense of drag, and compliments solar as the boat’s secondary source of unlimited renewable power.

Solo demonstration

Phil Sharp will be demonstrating these novel clean technologies aboard his Class40 Imerys Clean Energy in order that he can be fossil-free for the 3 550 mile Route du Rhum transatlantic race. Held once every four years, the Route du Rhum is world’s biggest and most famous solo transatlantic race. The race celebrates its 40th anniversary 2018 and takes around 20 days to complete.

The race started out on November 4 from St Malo in France to Pointe à Pitre in Guadeloupe. With 124 boats across six classes, Phil Sharp aboard Imerys Clean Energy is racing in the most competitive fleet with a total of 53 Class40s. He is demonstrating these novel clean technologies aboard his Class40 Imerys Clean Energy in order that he can be fossil-free for the entire race.

The Route du Rhum is a race everyone wants to win. All the top sailors take part which makes the race both highly pressured and competitive. I am excited to be racing in the largest fleet of Class 40s with some 50 other fast solo sailors and I am sure there will be plenty of challenges along the course that will make finishing all the more satisfying, said Phil Sharpe, who won the race 12 years ago.

According to Imerys, this highly competitive entry not only attempts to win races and break records whilst being carbon-neutral, but importantly it showcases vital technologies for the maritime sector. Imerys is determined to develop responsibly, in particular by fostering the emergence of environmentally-friendly products and processes, resulting from its ambitious innovation approach.

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