Many people talk the talk, but few actually walk the walk. Italy-based MASK Architects have unveiled the ONYX H2-BO 85, the world’s first superyacht powered by onboard hydrogen production from seawater. At 279 feet, this superyacht seems like the crown jewel of the high seas, masterfully balancing luxury and eco-responsibility. While its stunning interiors alone could occupy pages, the innovative technology truly warrants attention.
The yacht’s sustainability derives from a fusion of electrolysis and hydroelectric turbines, substantially reducing environmental impact. In lay terms, the ONYX H2-BO 85 releases no harmful gases and actually contributes to the betterment of the marine environment by diminishing its ecological footprint.
Seawater drawn directly from its surroundings undergoes pretreatment before being subjected to electrolysis, which splits water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen gases. The hydrogen is then safely stored, ready to be used as a fuel source for engines, generators, or fuel cells. The turbines harness the kinetic energy from the ambient water and outperform traditional generators in terms of energy efficiency. This obviates the need for vast fuel reserves and offers easily accessible energy, particularly during low-speed sailing or anchoring. This innovation addresses many environmental issues associated with large boats’ reliance on fossil fuels and yields significant long-term cost savings. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?
If the promise of cost savings and eco-friendliness isn’t enough to keep the owner grinning, the yacht’s opulent cabins and lavish lounges are sure to impress guests. Billionaires, for their part, can now enjoy their leisure vessels without the accompanying guilt. Historically, these ships have been dubbed ‘climate killers’ — and with good reason. A 2018 report on CO2 emissions showed that Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich alone was responsible for 22,400 tons of emissions, surpassing the total emissions of the island nation of Tonga. Close behind was billionaire David Geffen, whose time aboard his $590 million superyacht, the Rising Sun, resulted in a carbon footprint of 16,320 tons.