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Title: Understanding the Opportunities of Biofuels for Marine Shipping

Abstract

This report examines the potential benefits, feasibility, and barriers to the use of biofuels in place of heavy fuel oil (HFO) and marine gas oil for marine vessels. More than 90% of world’s shipped goods travel by marine cargo vessels powered by internal combustion (diesel) engines using primarily low-cost residual HFO, which is high in sulfur content. Recognizing that marine shipping is the largest source of anthropogenic sulfur emissions and is a significant source of other pollutants including particulates, nitrogen oxides, and carbon dioxide (CO 2), the International Maritime Organization enacted regulations to lower the fuel sulfur content from 3.5 wt.% to 0.5 wt.% in 2020. These regulations require ship operators either to use higher-cost, low-sulfur HFO or to seek other alternatives for reducing sulfur emissions (i.e., scrubbers, natural gas, distillates, and/or biofuels). The near-term options for shipowners to comply with regulations include fueling with low-sulfur HFO or distillate fuels or installing emissions control systems. However, few refineries are equipped to produce low-sulfur HFO. Likewise, the current production rates of distillates do not allow the necessary expansion required to fuel the world fleet of shipping vessels (which consume around 330 million metric tons). This quantity is more than twice thatmore » used in the United States for cars and trucks. The other near-term option is to install emission control systems, which also requires a significant investment. All of these options significantly increase operational costs. Because of such costs, biofuels have become an attractive alternative since they are inherently low in sulfur and potentially also offer greenhouse gas benefits. Based on this preliminary assessment, replacing HFO in large marine vessels with minimally processed, heavy biofuels appears to have potential as a path to reduced emissions of sulfur, CO 2, and criteria emissions. Realizing this opportunity will require deeper knowledge of (1) the combustion characteristics of biofuels in marine applications, (2) their compatibility for blending with conventional marine fuels (including HFO), (3) needs and costs for scaling up production and use, and (4) a systems assessment of their life cycle environmental impacts and costs. It is recommended that a research program investigating each of these aspects be undertaken to better assess the efficacy of biofuels for marine use.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [3];  [3];  [5];  [4];  [3];  [1];  [6];  [5]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  3. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  4. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Washington, DC (United States)
  5. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
  6. US Maritime Administration, Washington, DC (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1490575
Report Number(s):
ORNL/TM-2018/1080
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS

Citation Formats

Kass, Michael D., Abdullah, Zia, Biddy, Mary J., Drennan, Corinne, Haq, Zia, Hawkins, Troy, Jones, Susanne, Holliday, Jonathan, Longman, Douglas E., Menter, Seth, Newes, Emily, Theiss, Timothy J., Thompson, Tom, and Wang, Michael. Understanding the Opportunities of Biofuels for Marine Shipping. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1490575.
Kass, Michael D., Abdullah, Zia, Biddy, Mary J., Drennan, Corinne, Haq, Zia, Hawkins, Troy, Jones, Susanne, Holliday, Jonathan, Longman, Douglas E., Menter, Seth, Newes, Emily, Theiss, Timothy J., Thompson, Tom, & Wang, Michael. Understanding the Opportunities of Biofuels for Marine Shipping. United States. doi:10.2172/1490575.
Kass, Michael D., Abdullah, Zia, Biddy, Mary J., Drennan, Corinne, Haq, Zia, Hawkins, Troy, Jones, Susanne, Holliday, Jonathan, Longman, Douglas E., Menter, Seth, Newes, Emily, Theiss, Timothy J., Thompson, Tom, and Wang, Michael. Sat . "Understanding the Opportunities of Biofuels for Marine Shipping". United States. doi:10.2172/1490575. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1490575.
@article{osti_1490575,
title = {Understanding the Opportunities of Biofuels for Marine Shipping},
author = {Kass, Michael D. and Abdullah, Zia and Biddy, Mary J. and Drennan, Corinne and Haq, Zia and Hawkins, Troy and Jones, Susanne and Holliday, Jonathan and Longman, Douglas E. and Menter, Seth and Newes, Emily and Theiss, Timothy J. and Thompson, Tom and Wang, Michael},
abstractNote = {This report examines the potential benefits, feasibility, and barriers to the use of biofuels in place of heavy fuel oil (HFO) and marine gas oil for marine vessels. More than 90% of world’s shipped goods travel by marine cargo vessels powered by internal combustion (diesel) engines using primarily low-cost residual HFO, which is high in sulfur content. Recognizing that marine shipping is the largest source of anthropogenic sulfur emissions and is a significant source of other pollutants including particulates, nitrogen oxides, and carbon dioxide (CO2), the International Maritime Organization enacted regulations to lower the fuel sulfur content from 3.5 wt.% to 0.5 wt.% in 2020. These regulations require ship operators either to use higher-cost, low-sulfur HFO or to seek other alternatives for reducing sulfur emissions (i.e., scrubbers, natural gas, distillates, and/or biofuels). The near-term options for shipowners to comply with regulations include fueling with low-sulfur HFO or distillate fuels or installing emissions control systems. However, few refineries are equipped to produce low-sulfur HFO. Likewise, the current production rates of distillates do not allow the necessary expansion required to fuel the world fleet of shipping vessels (which consume around 330 million metric tons). This quantity is more than twice that used in the United States for cars and trucks. The other near-term option is to install emission control systems, which also requires a significant investment. All of these options significantly increase operational costs. Because of such costs, biofuels have become an attractive alternative since they are inherently low in sulfur and potentially also offer greenhouse gas benefits. Based on this preliminary assessment, replacing HFO in large marine vessels with minimally processed, heavy biofuels appears to have potential as a path to reduced emissions of sulfur, CO2, and criteria emissions. Realizing this opportunity will require deeper knowledge of (1) the combustion characteristics of biofuels in marine applications, (2) their compatibility for blending with conventional marine fuels (including HFO), (3) needs and costs for scaling up production and use, and (4) a systems assessment of their life cycle environmental impacts and costs. It is recommended that a research program investigating each of these aspects be undertaken to better assess the efficacy of biofuels for marine use.},
doi = {10.2172/1490575},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {12}
}

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