Tracking LNG-Fueled Ships’ Methane Slip Emissions With Drones

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Environmental group the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has launched a new project to track the methane slip from LNG-fuelled ships, reports Ship and Bunker.

About the FUMES project

The FUMES project, in collaboration with Denmark’s Explicit ApS and the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, will use in-stack continuous emissions monitoring, drones and helicopters to track methane emissions from gas-powered vessels, the ICCT said in a statement on its website on Tuesday.

Burning natural gas in itself produces lower CO2 emissions than conventional bunker fuels. But the unburned methane released during the production, transportation, bunkering and use of LNG as a bunker fuel has a much higher greenhouse impact than CO2, and tracking this methane slip will be key to understanding LNG’s overall environmental record as an alternative fuel.

Obtaining data

The project will gather data this year and produce a peer-reviewed public white paper next year.

“Obtaining these real-world data will help us to better understand the conditions under which methane emissions from LNG-fueled ships are high or low, and that’s important when considering ways to reduce the environmental impacts of shipping,” Bryan Comer, marine program lead at the ICCT, said in the statement.

LNG advocates and opponents disagree over how to account for the greenhouse effect of methane, with supporters tending to use a 100-year analysis that makes it look less harmful, and opponents favouring a 20-year analysis.

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Source: Ship and Bunker

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