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New biofuels being tested to help achieve transition to sustainable shipping


March 8, 2021
By Alfa Laval

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Two new types of marine fuels will soon be tested to support the transition toward more sustainable shipping.

Alfa Laval will be testing biofuels made from waste and methanol at a testing facility in Demark. The non-carbon fuels could be commercially viable and have a strong impact on the marine industry in its quest for zero-carbon shipping.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) targets a 50 per cent reduction of vessel-related greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To achieve the long-term target of decarbonization, the industry must shift to new fuel types and technologies. The Alfa Laval Test & Training Centre in Aalborg, Denmark is taking a key role in testing new types of fuels to adapt and develop equipment for the vessels’ engine rooms and support the industry’s journey towards decarbonization. The 2800 m 2 testing space – already equipped for today’s oil and gas fuels – has been readied for testing biofuels and methanol. The tests will begin during the spring.

“A number of fuel pathways are on the table in the transition towards zero carbon shipping, but the knowledge about their impact on marine equipment solutions is limited” Sameer Kalra, president of the marine division, said. “We want to extend that knowledge through testing. It is our ambition to develop viable technology solutions in cooperation with other marine players, so that our customers can achieve their climate goals irrespective of the selected fuel pathway.”

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Since ships have a lifetime of 20 years or more, zero-emission vessels must begin entering the global fleet by 2030 for a 50 per cent reduction to be achieved by 2050. It is predicted that in 2023 the world’s first carbon neutral liner vessel will be launched, and that methanol-fuelled vessel will be ready for delivery in two years’ time.