How biodiesel can have a positive impact on reducing the CO2 of the shipping industry

How biodiesel can have a positive impact on reducing the CO2 of the shipping industry

The shipping industry is a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing its carbon footprint has become a priority in recent years. One possible solution is the use of biodiesel as a more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional marine fuel. In this article, we will discuss the use of biodiesel in the shipping industry and its potential to reduce CO2 emissions.

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel made from biological sources such as vegetable oils, animal fats, and waste oils. It is chemically similar to traditional marine fuel and can be used in ship engines without any major modifications. Biodiesel has several advantages over traditional marine fuel, including a lower carbon footprint and reduced emissions of sulfur and particulate matter.

The shipping industry is responsible for about 2.2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set a target to reduce the industry's emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels. The use of biodiesel in the shipping industry is one possible way to achieve this target.

Several shipping companies have already begun to experiment with biodiesel as a marine fuel. For example, Maersk, the world's largest container shipping company, conducted a successful trial of a blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% traditional marine fuel in 2019. The trial showed that the biodiesel blend reduced CO2 emissions by 1.5%, sulfur emissions by 11%, and particulate matter emissions by 10%.

In addition to biodiesel, the shipping industry is also exploring other renewable fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia. However, biodiesel has several advantages over these fuels, including a more established supply chain and lower infrastructure costs.

The use of biodiesel in the shipping industry still faces some challenges, including the high cost of production and the limited availability of feedstocks. However, new technologies such as hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) and algae-based biodiesel are being developed to address these challenges. HVO is a process that uses hydrogen and a catalyst to remove impurities and convert feedstocks into high-quality diesel fuel, while algae-based biodiesel is a fuel made from algae that are grown in wastewater or saltwater.

In conclusion, the use of biodiesel in the shipping industry has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the sustainability of the sector. While the adoption of biodiesel in shipping still faces challenges, new technologies and regulatory frameworks are making it more feasible and attractive for shipping companies to use renewable fuels. As such, we can expect to see more shipping companies exploring the use of biodiesel and other renewable fuels in the years to come.