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Refinery Automation Institute: Marine fuels GHG carbon footprint reduction is possible through blending

Blending alternative fuels and current fuels can be a straightforward and practical alternative that can be implemented right now and does not require engine and storage tank modifications, says reps.

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The following is an article written by Ara Barsamian and Daniel BC Son of the Refinery Automation Institute that was recently shared with Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times on blending fuels of different carbon intensities to substantially reduce GHG emissions.

The paper describes the technique with two cases: blending RMG380 with FAME and green hydrogen with liquified natural gas (LNG):

Great efforts are undertaken to develop alternative fuels to replace traditional hydrocarbon fuels. The bunker industry, through IBIA, has started a working group to evaluate the potential and practicality of alternative fuels, encompassing among others, hydrogen, ammonia, methanol, and biofuels. It is an admirable effort, bringing all suppliers, engine manufacturers, shipowners, and users together. However, most of the alternatives are not capable of mass production or capable to be implemented in the existing conventional engines.

There is a straightforward and practical alternative that can be implemented right now, which does not require modifying of the engines, storage tanks, or other safety engineering related mods: GHG CI blending.

Dilution of Green House Gas (GHG) Carbon Intensity (CI)

Dilution of CI is done by blending two or more fuel blend components with different CI’s.

Each fuel material has its own CI number, expressed in units of gCO2e/MJ. The CI number depends on the specific “pathway” used for fuel life cycle analysis, from its “birth to death”. That is the reason why the same fuel, e.g., FAME, can have a different CI’s depending on the individual pathways, such as means of production or usage (Fig. 1).

Screenshot 2022 10 18 at 12.07.57 PM

CI data bases are available from US EPA and other organizations (see references 1 through 4).

The CI “blending method” achieves substantial reduction in carbon intensity

  • Without new alternative or experimental fuels
  • Mostly without modifications to existing engines or fuel infrastructure

To put the theory to test, we calculated a blend of RMG 380 with FAME biodiesel [1] using the EPA CI database numbers; the results show a potential reduction of 21% in the CI of the 70/30% blend:

Screenshot 2022 10 18 at 12.08.09 PM

For Automotive Diesel, you can also use FAME, Renewable Diesel (RD), or “Green” middle distillates, such as green diesel, green jet, etc., illustrated in Fig. 3.

Screenshot 2022 10 18 at 12.10.21 PM

Applicability of Blending Method to Dilute Carbon Intensity (CI)

The GHG CI dilution by blending applies equally to alternative fuels, e.g., blending “Green” hydrogen with LNG, or Ammonia or Methanol, etc. (Fig. 4).

Screenshot 2022 10 18 at 12.08.55 PM

If you are interested in getting a copy of the Excel-based GHG CI dilution blending spreadsheet, send us a request to [email protected] or [email protected].

The calculator covers GHG CI dilution for bunkers, diesel, and gasoline. You can modify it to suit your needs, and it can be used with any fuels, as long as the fuels are compatible and approved for use with a particular engine.

Note: Refinery Automation Institute, LLC will be discussing the blending method and illustrative examples of it in our upcoming blending courses in Singapore on 31 October to 1 November and in Houston on 14 to 19 November, 2022. 

References:

  1. https://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/data-sets
  2. IBIA’s Future Fuels Working Group www.ibia.net
  3. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/greenhouse-gas-reporting-conversion-factors- 2021
  4. https://theicct.org/sites/default/files/publications/Well-to-wake-co2-mar2021-2.pdf

 

Photo credit: Refinery Automation Institute
Published: 18 October, 2022

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Biofuel

DB Schenker to ship Avolta cargo between Europe and US with bio bunker fuel

All containers that Avolta will move on the Barcelona – Miami route, using biofuel, will be shipped on low emission through application of waste-based marine biofuels and additional units of sustainable marine biofuel.

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DB Schenker

Travel retailer Avolta recently said it entered an agreement in Spain with logistics service provider DB Schenker for the transport of goods using marine biofuel between Europe and the United States.

From now on, all containers that Avolta will move on the Barcelona - Miami route, using biofuel, will be shipped on low emission through the application of waste-based marine biofuels and additional units of sustainable marine biofuel, to achieve additional compensation of the biofuel’s upstream emissions.

“This biofuel switch could prevent over 150 tons of CO2e Well-to-Wake emissions per year, based on Avolta’s 2023 container volume on this route, reducing up to 84% of the CO2 emissions,” the firm said.

The fuel used is Used Cooking oil methyl ester (UCOME) and is based on renewable and sustainable sources, mainly waste cooking oil. 

The application will be guided by the Book & Claim System, a set of principles that have been developed through a global, multi-stakeholder process with third-party validation to ensure that the use of this chain of custody model has full traceability and credibility, as well as a demonstrable climate impact.

Camillo Rossotto, Chief Public Affairs & ESG Officer Avolta, said: “We are taking a significant step forward towards decarbonising our shipments and route transportations.”

“This agreement represents the starting point of the transitioning to biofuel for ocean freight which will contribute to decarbonising our logistic emission. Our company's commitment to sustainability is firm and long-term and, as proof of this, we are planning to increase the volume of containers transported using biofuel, advancing in the sustainable and low-emission transportation industry."

Miguel Ángel de la Torre, director of maritime transport at DB Schenker in Iberia, said: "Our mission is to help, facilitate, and guide our customers in the sustainable transformation, and on this occasion, we are doing so by offering this biofuel so that they can convert their freight transport into low-emission transport.”

“In this way, our customer Avolta is not only pioneering and helping to reduce emissions but is also ahead of the new regulations and associated benefits that will be tightened in the coming years.”

 

Photo credit: DB Schenker
Published: 21 June, 2024

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LNG Bunkering

MAN Energy Solutions rejoins SEA-LNG coalition

‘MAN ES, alongside other members of the SEA-LNG coalition, are making great strides in tackling methane slip in engine technologies where it still exists,’ says Peter Keller, SEA-LNG chairman.

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MAN Energy Solutions rejoins SEA-LNG

Global multi-sector industry coalition SEA LNG on Thursday (20 June) announced that MAN Energy Solutions (MAN ES) will rejoin its coalition.  

As a provider of flexible and powerful propulsion solutions for LNG marine applications, SEA LNG said MAN ES caters to the growing demands of the shipping industry for LNG propulsion and equipment across dual fuel LNG-powered ships, LNG carriers, FRSUs, LNG feeder and bunker vessels, as well as for gas supply infrastructure. All MAN ES technology is fully compatible with net-zero biomethane and e-methane.

“MAN ES’s technical expertise adds to the technical skills and experience of SEA-LNG members, already achieving reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. MAN ES’s two-stroke high-pressure engine technology is one of those delivering virtually no methane slip in the LNG combustion process today,” it said.

In addition, MAN ES is making significant progress in eradicating methane slip in its four-stroke engines. Over the last ten years, MAN ES has already been able to halve methane slip in its four-stroke gas engines and is aiming for a further 20% reduction by continuously improving the combustion process.

MAN ES's IMOKAT II project has secured investment from the German Federal Ministry for Economics and Climate Action to develop an after-treatment technology to further reduce methane slip from its four-stroke engines, ultimately aiming for a 70% reduction of methane emissions at 100% load.  

Stefan Eefting, Senior Vice President and Head of MAN PrimeServ Germany at MAN Energy Solutions, said: “While shipping remains the most environmentally-friendly form of transport, the many vessels powered by our technology means that MAN Energy Solutions has a special responsibility to help move the industry to net-zero; we are very happy to work with like-minded partners in achieving this.”

“Our unique ability to assess the future-fuel mix is, in great part, based on our dual-fuel engine development, which promotes LNG and other alternative green fuels that have a key role to play on the path to decarbonisation.” 

Peter Keller, SEA-LNG chairman, said: “The shipping industry’s decarbonisation drive is at a tipping point as global and regional regulations begin to impact shipowners financially.”

“As these regulatory changes continue to be felt, LNG as a marine fuel, and its decarbonisation pathway through liquified biomethane and e-methane, offers the most practical and realistic solution. The LNG solution is playing a critical role in enabling emissions reductions, starting today.”

“If we want to continue to unlock this pathway’s potential, we need the right expertise and MAN ES’s experience and insights will be critical to ensuring LNG, biomethane and e-methane firmly take their place in the basket of alternative marine fuels.”

Keller continued: “We are proud to represent the entire LNG value chain, and the addition of MAN ES only adds to our roster of industry-leading first movers to promote the LNG pathway. In particular, MAN ES, alongside other members of the SEA-LNG coalition, are making great strides in tackling methane slip in engine technologies where it still exists. With constant advances in technology, we are confident the issue of methane slip can be solved within this decade.” 

 

Photo credit: MAN Energy Solutions
Published: 21 June, 2024

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Bunker Fuel

LR report highlights potential of LPG as bunker fuel in delivering emission reduction

Study, however, outlines that technology readiness will need to improve for LPG to become a viable choice for shipowners and operators looking to transition their fleet to low and zero-carbon vessels.

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LR report highlights potential of LPG as bunker fuel in delivering emission reduction

Using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as a marine fuel could deliver a significant carbon reduction, particularly alongside other emissions reduction and energy saving technologies, helping shipowners comply with more stringent regulations into the next decade, according to Lloyd’s Register recently.

The Fuel for Thought: LPG, a joint report from Lloyd’s Register (LR) and the World Liquid Gas Association (WLGA) has found that the market for dual-fuel LPG engines will continue to grow based on a healthy orderbook, with LPG offering a cleaner, lower carbon emission marine energy source than many alternatives currently available.

According to the report, the use of LPG as a marine fuel combined with technology such as Onboard Carbon Capture and Storage (OCCS) can reduce a vessel’s emissions profile, with the added benefit of reducing the required CO2 storage capacity, due to the lower CO2 emissions from LPG combustion. This allows the technology to work more effectively and offers shipowners a pathway towards future regulatory compliance.  

The report, however, outlines that technology readiness will need to improve for LPG to become a viable choice for shipowners and operators looking to transition their fleet to low and zero-carbon vessels.  

Although well established, the range of available engine technologies will need to be expanded to enable widespread adoption of LPG on multiple vessel types. 

Currently there is no four-stroke marine engine capable of using LPG, meaning auxiliary engines on vessels would need to be decarbonised through an additional fuel.

A safe bunkering framework must be also developed to encourage uptake of LPG. Regulations remain in their early stages, with interim guidelines recently published by IMO.

Panos Mitrou, Global Gas Segment Director, Lloyd’s Register, said: “The pace and scale of renewable production for LPG remains a critical factor in initiating the wider adoption of LPG as a marine fuel.”

“Supportive energy-saving technologies, as along with potentially maturing onboard carbon capture and storage, will further assist in making LPG a viable low-zero carbon fuel.”

“By ensuring this, LPG could offer attractive operating and capital costs compared to other alternative fuels as shipowners look to decarbonise their fleets in line with more stringent regulations."

Nikos Xydas, World Liquid Gas Association Technical Director, said: “LPG stands as a unique and exceptional energy source, pivotal for decarbonising the shipping sector.”

“Stored and transported as a liquid and consumed as a gas, it is well recognised for its lower emission benefits as a marine fuel. With a surge in orders for LPG-fuelled ships, it's clear that LPG's role in the shipping industry is expanding.”

“As the world moves towards deep decarbonisation targets, LPG emerges as an ideal fuel for all vessel types, offering a cleaner alternative fuel today and a pathway for an even cleaner future tomorrow.”

“Its flexibility, low emissions, and cost-effectiveness position LPG as the potential fuel of choice in the shipping sector, paving also the way for low-cost deep-sea decarbonisation with the advent of bio/renewable LPG.”

Note: The ‘Fuel for Thought: LPG’ report can be found here.

 

Photo credit: Lloyd’s Register
Published: 21 June, 2024

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