Biogas-Based Biofuels: A Pathway To Decarbonizing Shipping

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This report examines the main characteristics of biogas-based manufacturing chains for Liquefied Bio-Methane (LBM) and bio-methanol. By analyzing real-world commercial data, we evaluate the status and potential of the three key steps in these value chains: biogenic feedstocks, biogas manufacture, and biofuel manufacture. The findings indicate that biogas-based biofuels can significantly contribute to the decarbonization of shipping, particularly during the initial stages of the transition.

Biogenic Feedstocks

Biogas-based biofuels can utilize a wide range of biogenic feedstocks, including agricultural waste, municipal waste, and other organic materials. These diverse feedstocks are crucial for the scalability and sustainability of biogas production. By converting waste into valuable biofuels, the industry not only reduces waste management challenges but also contributes to a circular economy.

Biogas Manufacture

The production of biogas involves anaerobic digestion or gasification of biogenic feedstocks. Technologies for biogas production are either commercially available or are expected to become so soon. The existing infrastructure supports large-scale biogas production, making it a viable option for meeting growing energy demands. However, controlling methane emissions during biogas production is essential to maintain the environmental benefits of these biofuels.

Biofuel Manufacture

Once biogas is produced, it can be converted into biofuels like LBM and bio-methanol. These biofuels are compatible with existing maritime fuel systems, facilitating a smoother transition for the shipping industry. The development of virtual infrastructure, such as green certificates trading and book-and-claim systems, can further enhance the business case for biofuels by promoting transparency and sustainability in the value chain. Nonetheless, addressing methane emissions remains a critical challenge to ensure the overall environmental sustainability of biogas-based biofuels.

This report serves as a valuable resource for stakeholders interested in the role of biogas-based biofuels in the decarbonization of shipping.

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Source: Zero Carbon Shipping