Classification society DNV GL has issued a new white paper which assesses a range of alternative fuels and technologies. Entitled Alternative fuels and technologies for greener shipping, the paper examines the price, availability, regulatory challenges and environmental benefits of alternative fuels and technologies, including LNG, LPG, hydrogen, fuel cells, and hybrid and battery technologies, and comparing them to the use of conventional fuel with scrubbers and new low sulphur alternatives.
Through this white paper DNV GL intends to offer the shipping industry insights that will help them in their preparations for the upcoming Global Sulphur Cap, which is due to come into effect on 1 January 2020.
“The incoming International Maritime Organization (IMO) sulphur cap on emissions from shipping could have a significant effect on the maritime industry, and it has the potential to be a game changer for alternative fuels,” says Trond Hodne, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing Director at DNV GL – Maritime. “Our new white paper is designed to set out the options for interested stakeholders and to offer a balanced assessment of the potential of these fuels and technologies going forward. We hope that by doing so we can add to the growing body of knowledge and enable investment decisions to be made with greater certainty and confidence.”
The technologies and fuels considered in the white paper are many of the most commonly used in the shipping industry today: LNG, LPG, methanol, biofuel, hydrogen, battery systems, fuel cell systems, and wind-assisted propulsion. The white paper identifies and examines the factors that will affect the uptake and acceptance of alternative fuels and technologies in shipping, including: environmental compatibility, availability, fuel costs and the international rules within the IGF Code. Over the short term, the white paper foresees that the vast majority of conventionally fuelled vessels already in service will either switch to low sulphur conventional fuels, or implement a scrubber system while continuing to use heavy fuel oil (HFO).
LNG for Newbuilds
For newbuilding vessels, the sulphur cap could be a major driver for alternative fuels, and DNV GL’s Gerd Würsig, Business Director Alternative fuelled ships, at DNV GL – Maritime, believes that LNG is the prime contender among them: “LNG has already overcome the barriers related to international legislation and is available in sufficient quantities today to meet the requirements of the shipping industry for many years. It also fits within the trend of demands to lower emissions of CO2, NOx and particulate matter. At the end of the day however, the best concept for a given application needs to be determined by the shipowner on a case-by-case basis, and at DNV GL we are ready to assist in finding the best solution.”
LNG Environmental Impact (extract from Paper)
Natural gas from LNG is the cleanest fossil fuel available today. There are no SOX emissions related to it, particle emissions are very low, the NOX emissions are lower than those of MGO or HFO, and other emissions such as HC, CO or formaldehyde from gas engines are low and can be mitigated by exhaust gas after-treatment if necessary. Nevertheless, methane release (slip) must be considered when evaluating the CO2 reduction potential of LNG as ship fuel (maximum value is roughly 26 per cent compared to HFO). Low-pressure Otto-cycle gas engines burning LNG comply with the IMO Tier III NOX limit without requiring exhaust gas treatment.
Source: DNV GL – Maritime