Universiteit Utrecht

11/04/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/04/2019 09:04

Decarbonising the fossil fuel intensive marine sector

Greenhouse gas emissions of the intensive marine sector will increase with 50-250% from 2012 to 2050 under a 'business as usual' scenario. Decarbonising this fossil fuel intensive sector is therefore highly relevant. The marine sector has opportunities to reduce emissions by improvement of ship efficiency and reduction of speed. However, biofuels to replace marine gasoil and heavy fuel oil are likely needed to decarbonise the shipping sector in the short to medium term. Currently, little is known about which biofuels can be applied in a sustainable way and when and how the production and utilisation can be scaled up. Therefore, Utrecht University and the Port of Rotterdam (HBR) organised a workshop on the challenges and opportunities of biofuels use in the marine sector. With this event, the research performed by Dr Agneev Mukherjee of the hub 'Towards Industries with Negative Emissions' was officially launched.

Workshop participants from the shipping sector, biofuel manufacturers and researchers shared the vision that bio-methanol, bio-DME and bio-LNG are the most promising candidates for marine fuels. Further, biofuel integration with carbon capture and storage could lead to additional greenhouse gas savings.

With this input, the researchers received relevant information to guide and direct the research and the participants expressed their interest in being actively involved. Participants were highly committed to cooperating with the hub research and to co-develop pathways to decarbonise their sector.

In the coming year, the research will focus amongst others on available technologies, economic feasibility and greenhouse gas mitigation potential. The results will be presented in a next workshop with the aim to develop decarbonisation pathways for the shipping sector, based on unbiased and robust scientific facts. They will do so in close cooperation with decision makers in industry and governments.