Use of Marine Biofuels To Minimize GHG

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Scientists Focus on marine biofuels research as Environmental Concerns rise says an article on Nature World.

Marine biofuels

Researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and other Department of Energy laboratories are looking at the use of marine biofuels as part of a global initiative to minimize sulfur and greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution from ships.

“Biofuels turned out to be very good choices because they have zero or very, very low sulfur relative to fossil fuels,” said Eric Tan, NREL’s senior research engineer and lead author of a recent paper published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology

Ling Tao, also from NREL, and scientists from Argonne National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration are co-authors of “Biofuel Options for Marine Applications: Techno-Economic and Life-Cycle Analyses.”

Reduced volumes of Sulfur Oxide

After 2005, the International Marine Organization (IMO) has gradually reduced the volume of sulfur oxides that ships are permitted to emit. The sulfur content of ships’ fuel oil was lowered to 0.5 percent from 3.5 percent under the most recent upper cap, which went into operation at the start of 2020. According to the IMO, the reduction would benefit the atmosphere and people’s health, especially those who live near ports and coasts. Furthermore, the IMO has set ambitious goals to decarbonize marine transport, aiming for a 50% decrease in GHG emissions from international shipping by 2050, compared to 2008 levels.

Individual countries are responsible for enforcing the new legislation, which necessitates modifications to carry ships into compliance. To mitigate emissions, shipowners may either add sulfur scrubbers or switch to a low-sulfur diesel. All options come with a price tag.

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Source: Nature World

 

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