A global effort to reduce sulphur and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships has researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and other Department of Energy facilities investigating the potential use of marine biofuels.
“Biofuels turned out to be very good options because they have zero or very, very low sulfur compared to fossil fuels,” said Eric Tan, a senior research engineer at NREL and lead author of a new article published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.
His co-authors of “Biofuel Options for Marine Applications: Techno-Economic and Life-Cycle Analyses” are Ling Tao, also from NREL, along with scientists with Argonne National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration.
The NREL-directed research provides a starting point for establishing the feasibility of ships using biofuels. Fuelling costs already account for a significant part of running a shipping line, so the researchers examined both prices and emissions.
The economics are weighed against the cost of burning heavy fuel oil (HFO), which accounts for about three-quarters of the fuel used by ships. A low-sulphur HFO costs slightly more a gallon than traditional HFO. The low-sulphur HFO prices would be the maximum ship owners are willing to pay for biofuels for a one-to-one replacement. The biofuels are considered to be potential drop-in fuels compatible for use in marine engines, but further work is needed to confirm that compatibility.
Upon examining different types of fuels for their ability to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants, the researchers found biofuels produced entirely from biomass offer much higher reductions in life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions—from 67% to 93% less than HFO. Biomass-derived fuels also are mostly free of sulphur and exhibit reductions in criteria air pollutant emissions such as particulate matter.
Tan’s research concluded that, if shipping had no competition, the United States has a large supply of bio-feedstocks for producing substantial amounts of marine biofuels to displace fossil fuels. With ships using 400 million metric tons of fuel annually, a blend of 5% biofuels translates to about 5 billion gallons.
The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office and by the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration.
NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy’s primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for the Energy Department by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.
Estimated total value of MFO which was erroneously recorded as having been delivered to the receiving vessels across the 14 proceeded CMA charges is US$121,585.60, states court document.
On 5th June 2021, VPS carried out a Remaining On Board (R.O.B.) survey on board a Singapore-registered bunker tanker at short notice by the Charterer and quickly identified the theft of 98 metric tons of bunker fuel.
No quarantine required if vessels have not called at Brazil, India, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and South Africa during the 21 days prior to arrival at Hong Kong port, according to Marine Department notice.
CCIC discuss the progression of MFM technology for bunkering at Singapore port with Manifold Times; and possible development of a primary facility for MFM calibration.
‘The acquisition of PGI Industries will enhance VPS’ preventative maintenance services offered to the power sector, increasing protection and sustainability of the asset,’ says Malcolm Cooper, CEO, VPS.
A foreign vessel was involved in an alleged unauthorised STS incident with bunker tanker Pearl Melody on 5 June, Director and General Manager of Consort Bunkers tells Manifold Times.