Overview of alternative fuels with emphasis on the potential of liquefied natural gas as future marine fuel

Economic and population growths are the most important drivers of growing global energy demand. They led to a rapid development of international seaborne trade and an increase in the number of global vessels. Air pollution from these ships is of great concerns and regulations are currently enforced since May 2005 by the International Maritime Organization to limit such pollution. In this study, the authors will first review the current global energy demand and its driving forces over next decades, second evaluate the existing alternative fuels that can be used as a bunker fuel to reach sustainability with relatively small changes in the existing marine propulsion options and finally focus on near-term solution, which has the potential for large-scale use. The different alternative fuels were compared in terms of several parameters such as availability, renewability, safety, cost, performance, economy and compliance with emission regulations. This comparison revealed that liquefied natural gas could be considered as the future replacement to the current marine bunker fuel. This conclusion has been further verified by comparing diesel engine with different powers when using both heavy fuel oil and liquefied natural gas. The engines were compared against fuel consumption, cost saving as well as emissions. Liquefied natural gas has proved to be better than heavy fuel oil due to fuel cost reduction by about 31% per year and decrease in emissions of SOx, NOx, CO2 and particulate matter by about 98%, 86%, 11% and 96%, respectively. The resulted emissions from using liquefied natural gas were found to comply with the current International Maritime Organization regulations. Moreover, this article highlights the latest rules and regulations that govern the use of liquefied natural gas as marine fuel onboard ships.


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  • Accession Number: 01609111
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 6 2016 4:56PM