Biofuels display potential to lower shipping emissions in a cost-effective manner

Industry Insights

The volume of marine shipping traffic has expanded considerably in the past decade, thus, has greenhouse gas emissions. From 2012 to 2018, carbon emissions from ships have grown almost 10%, and the shipping industry accounts for large consumption of petroleum.

If petroleum is substituted by biofuel it could reduce the amount of greenhouse gases and other pollutants that enter the air associated with ocean shipping, according to researchers at the Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of Energy. The study found that biomass-based fuel could greenhouse gas emissions from 40 to 93% in comparison with conventional dense fuel oil.

In the event of continued volume of shipping of goods via marine transport, greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping industry could rise by 40% from the current volume by 2050, according to the International Maritime Organization of the United Nations. The International Maritime Organization has set an objective to cut those emissions by at least half of the current volume.

Furthermore, the shipping industry is also a key source of soot and sulfur dioxide or particulate matter emissions. These substances are related to worsen air quality and have been linked with human health problems. The new fuel standards recently imposed by the International Maritime Organization that is aimed to reduce sulfur dioxide emission requires low concentrations of sulfur in shipping fuel.

In fact, the need to cut pollution associated with the shipping industry is an emerging opportunity for the use of biofuels, but its potential is relatively unexplored. The analysis carried out by the team finds biofuels can reduce shipping emissions significantly and at the same time is cost-effective.

Leave a Reply