Energy efficiency of alternative marine fuels from a life cycle perspective

01/25/2017 - 12:15-01/25/2017 - 13:30
Sasakawa Auditorium


Karin Andersson
(Chalmers University of Technology, dept. of Shipping and Marine Technology)
Selma Brynolf
(Chalmers University of Technology, dept. of Shipping and Marine Technology)


Karin Andersson

Global, regional and local regulations on emissions from shipping make the issue of fuel change important. Simultaneously, energy efficiency is identified by the IMO as the pathway to decrease of greenhouse gas emissions, although the IMO GHG reports show that this will be far from enough to reduce the emissions with continued use of fossil fuels. It is even difficult to obtain any decrease until 2050 with the predicted development of trade and transport combined with moving transport from road to rail and sea. The regulations on sulphur and nitrogen oxide emissions have started a change from HFO to other fuels. Fuels used or discussed can be MGO, “hybrid fuels”(or “ECA fuels”), LNG, methanol, biodiesel, electricity (hybrid) and many others.

Since a ship-owner is likely to choose the fuel that fulfils present regulations at the lowest cost (includes both fuel price and engine/technology costs), the step-wise introduction of regulations can cause sub-optimizations. The regulations do not include the energy input and emissions from the fuels “upstream” that is in extraction/harvesting,  processing and distribution. For some fuels the moving of energy use and impact upstream in the fuel chain may counteract the positive effects in use on board.

In the present paper we have assessed the “well to propeller” energy input and GHG emissions for a number of present and proposed marine fuels, fossil as well as renewable