Decarbonisation and shipping: alternative fuels

Hellenic Shipping News | Jul 24, 2021 at 2:00 AM
  • Shipping is heavily reliant on fossil fuels, and the huge majority of ships globally are powered today by hydrocarbon based fuel oils, albeit with some variation in grade and specification.
  • Cons: highly toxic; the conversion process requires an additional input of energy compared to green hydrogen; requires energy input for refrigeration; less energy dense than fuel oils, requiring larger storage capacity and/or more frequent refuelling; large capital investment needed for storage and refuelling infrastructure for shipping.
  • Just as the blending of fuel oils to achieve a reduced sulphur content led to an increase in output of black carbon particles, sparking a debate about whether there in fact was a net benefit to reducing sulphur levels in marine fuels, the widespread use of alternative fuels in the marine industry may give rise to unforeseen adverse consequences.