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Future Fuel Options

  John Kokarakis, VP Engineering, Bureau Veritas presentation during the 2015 GREEN4SEA Forum The tsunami of emission related regulations and the need for environmental friendliness also dictates the utilization of alternate fuels less polluting than HFO. The star player is LNG but  not the only player though. Future ships will burn a variety of fuels; hydrogen, synthetic fuels and biofuels will be chosen depending on the characteristic of the ship.   Nowadays, we are facing an utterly confusing and conflicting tsunami of fuel regulations. Fuel is the most expensive OPEX item and plays an important role in defining the future of the shipping industry. The drivers for new marine fuels are: regulations, financial considerations and available technology. In the future, there is going to be coexistence of multiple fuels. Be aware that the wrong fuel choice has major impact on commercial performance of the vessel. Pioneer owners may be confronted with unforeseen technical issues costing time and money. However shipping thrives through innovation and technology development. The fact that the charterer pays the fuel removes the motivation from the owners to use alternative fuels. Lack of bunkering facilities and supply chains are barriers for the introduction of new “exotic” fuels. Due to ...

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US Navy to test and certify 100% drop-in fuels

  The U.S. Navy is to test a production of 100% renewable drop-in fuels on its ships and aircrafts, according to the fuels' developers. Applied Research Associates (ARA) and Blue Sun Advanced Fuels are performing on a Defense Logistics Agency Energy  contract that was awarded for production of 100% drop-in renewable jet and diesel fuel utilizing ARA’s and Chevron Lummus Global’s (CLG) Biofuels ISOCONVERSION technology. The first contract fuel deliveries were made in February of 2015; the remainder of the fuel will be delivered in 2015 and 2016 to support certification and testing of renewable fuels for U.S. Navy ships and aircraft. The contract calls for production of CHCD-76 and CHCJ-5. CHCD-76 is a catalytic hydrothermal conversion diesel fuel, developed as a variation of the commercial ReadiDiesel with the intention to meet the Navy’s F-76 Naval Marine Distillate Fuel spec and qualification protocols. CHCJ-5 denotes a catalytic hydrothermal conversion jet fuel, developed as a variation of the commercial ReadiJet with the intention to meet the Navy’s JP-5 jet fuel spec and qualification protocols. Blue Sun Advanced Fuels, a licensee of the Biofuels ISOCONVERSION technology, converts the renewable oils to crude oil in their 100 barrel-per-day (4,200 gallon-per-day) demonstration-scale Biofuels ISOCONVERSION ...

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Finnish research vessel switching over to biofuel

  The marine research vessel Aranda's carbon load will be significantly reduced when she starts being fuelled with domestic bio-oil made from food industry by-products, such as used vegetable oils and fish guts. Early this year, the vessel already switched over to bio-oil for heating. "The ship's crew and visitors have noted that the smells wafting from the heating boiler remind them of traditional English fish and chips, so the smells of the exhaust gases are a good indicator of the fuel's origin." "For the next step of the trial, we will start burning a mix of mineral-based marine diesel and bio-oil in the vessel's main engines during upcoming trips, looking to find the optimal ratio for efficient and economical engine operation with the highest possible proportion of bio-oil. The waste-based bio-oil used on the ship is made in a manufacturing plant in Uusikaupunki operated by the shipping company VG-Shipping. The higher the proportion of bio-oil in the fuel, the lower the ship's carbon load," says HRD Manager Juha Flinkman from SYKE's Marine Research Centre. "The Research Vessel Aranda was built in the late 1980s when we needed a new ship suitable for icy conditions for Finnish marine research purposes. ...

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A closer look at the flawed studies behind biofuels

Nearly all of the studies used to promote biofuels as climate-friendly alternatives to petroleum fuels are flawed and need to be redone, according to a University of Michigan researcher who reviewed more than 100 papers published over more than two decades. Once the erroneous methodology is corrected, the results will likely show that policies used to promote biofuels—such as the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard and California's Low-Carbon Fuel Standard—actually make matters worse when it comes to limiting net emissions of climate-warming carbon dioxide gas. The main problem with existing studies is that they fail to correctly account for the carbon dioxide absorbed from the atmosphere when corn, soybeans and sugarcane are grown to make biofuels, said John DeCicco, a research professor at U-M's Energy Institute. "Almost all of the fields used to produce biofuels were already being used to produce crops for food, so there is no significant increase in the amount of carbon dioxide being removed from the atmosphere. Therefore, there's no climate benefit," said DeCicco, the author of an advanced review of the topic in the current issue of Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment.   "The real challenge is to develop ways of removing carbon dioxide at ...

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Researchers produce two biofuels from a single algae

A common algae commercially grown to make fish food holds promise as a source for both biodiesel and jet fuel, according to a new study published in the journal Energy & Fuels. The researchers, led by Greg O’Neil of Western Washington University and Chris Reddy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, exploited an unusual and untapped class of chemical compounds in the algae to synthesize two different fuel products, in parallel, a from a single algae. “It’s novel,” says O’Neil, the study’s lead author. “It’s far from a cost-competitive product at this stage, but it’s an interesting new strategy for making renewable fuel from algae.” Algae contain fatty acids that can be converted into fatty acid methyl esters, or FAMEs, the molecules in biodiesel. For their study, O’Neil, Reddy, and colleagues targeted a specific algal species called Isochrysis for two reasons: First, because growers have already demonstrated they can produce it in large batches to make fish food. Second, because it is among only a handful of algal species around the globe that produce fats called alkenones. These compounds are composed of long chains with 37 to 39 carbon atoms, which the researchers believed held potential as a fuel source. Biofuel ...

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