Ports and Marine
[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
US Maritime Administration to fund projects on reducing emissions from marine vessels, study on LNG bunkering
June 15, 2013
The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) Office of the Environment has issued two funding opportunities; the first (DTMA-91-R-2013-0020) will award up to an estimated $900,000 for up to 2 projects that demonstrate criteria pollutant emissions of carbon emissions reductions from marine vessels through repowering, re-engining, or using alternative fuel/energy.
The second (DTMA-91-R-2013-0009) will award up to $500,000 for a comprehensive study on the issues associated with the bunkering (supplying a ship with fuel) of LNG for marine vessels. One of the largest obstacles to widespread take-up of LNG as ship fuel—and hence its viability as an option to meet ECA (Emission Control Areas) requirements—is the lack of a bunkering infrastructure, according to Lloyd’s Register. (Earlier post.)
US DOE to award nearly $18M to 4 biorefinery projects for mil-spec renewable hydrocarbon fuels
April 22, 2013
The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award nearly $18 million to four innovative pilot-scale biorefineries in California, Iowa and Washington that will produce and test drop-in renewable biofuels that meet military specifications for jet fuel and shipboard diesel.
The pilot-scale biorefinery projects selected today will use a variety of non-food biomass feedstocks, waste-based materials, and algae in innovative conversion processes. The projects will demonstrate technologies to cost-effectively convert biomass into advanced drop-in biofuels and assist these organizations to scale up the processes to commercial levels. Recipients are required to contribute a minimum of 50% matching funds for these projects.
Mærsk Group exploring use of lignin-based marine biofuels; CyclOx and B21st
March 20, 2013
With an annual fuel bill of US$7 billion for vessel operations, the Mærsk Group continually considers ways to reduce its bunker fuel consumption. Greater efficiency is the primary way of achieving this; alternative fuels are another. Mærsk Group is currently involved in two projects focused on realizing the marine fuel potential of one of the world’s most abundant and sustainable biomass resources: lignin.
Lignin already has a variety of industrial uses because of its chemical characteristics, energy content and its abundance; yet its potential as a marine diesel fuel is a relatively uncharted area, says Peter Normark Sørensen, with Mærsk Oil Trading, the Mærsk Group’s oil buying arm.
Shell to build LNG units in Gulf Coast and Great Lakes regions; two additional LNG for transport corridors in North America
March 05, 2013
Shell and its affiliates will build two additional small-scale natural gas liquefaction units to provide liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel for marine and heavy-duty on-road customers in North America. Pending final regulatory permitting, these two new liquefaction units are expected to begin operations and production in about three years.
These two units will form the basis of two new LNG transport corridors in the Great Lakes and Gulf Coast regions. This decision follows an investment decision in 2011 on a similar corridor in Alberta, Canada. (Earlier post.) Shell is also working to use natural gas as a fuel in its own operations.
Siemens and Fjellstrand partner on battery-electric car ferry
January 11, 2013
|Rendering of the battery-electric car ferry. Click to enlarge.|
Siemens, together with the Norwegian shipyard Fjellstrand, has developed a battery-electric car ferry, the miljøferge (environmental ferry) ZeroCat. The 80-meter vessel can carry up to 120 cars and 360 passengers. From 2015 onward, it will serve the E39 route between Lavik and Oppedal, across the Sognefjord. The ship’s batteries will be recharged in the breaks between crossings, a procedure which only takes 10 minutes.
The vessel currently serving this route uses on average one million liters (264 thousand gallons US) of diesel a year and emits 570 metric tons of carbon dioxide and 15 metric tons of nitrogen oxides. The electrically powered ferry was developed for submission to a competition organized by Norway’s Ministry of Transport. As a reward for winning the competition, the shipping company Norled has been granted the license to operate the route until 2025.
Navy researchers project Rotating Detonation-Wave Engines could yield 10% power gain, 25% reduction in fuel burn over gas turbines
November 02, 2012
|Model of a Rotating Wave-Detonation Engine. Head end (fuel input) is at the bottom, nozzle is at the top. The detonation wave travels around the cylinder. Source: NRL. Click to enlarge.|
Scientists at the US Naval Research Laboratory are computationally studying the complex physics of Rotating Detonation-Wave Engines (RDEs or RDWEs) as a potential means to reduce fuel consumption in the gas-turbine engines upon which the Navy is highly dependent for propulsion.
NRL researchers believe that RDEs have the potential to meet 10% increased power requirements as well as 25% reduction in fuel use for future Navy applications. Currently there are about 430 gas turbine engines on 129 US Navy ships. These engines burn approximately $2 billion worth of fuel each year. By retrofitting these engines with the rotating detonation technology, researchers estimate that the Navy could save approximately $300 to 400 million a year.
Damen launches its first hybrid tug
October 24, 2012
|The inaugural ASD Tug 2810 Hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
Netherlands-based Damen Shipyards has launched its first hybrid tug—the ASD Tug 2810 Hybrid; Iskes Towage & Salvage will be the launching customer. The signing ceremony took place at the Offshore Energy conference in Amsterdam. The Dutch shipyard group is building hybrid tugs for stock; the second hybrid vessel will be available from stock end-2013.
Depending on the operating profile of a tug, the ASD 2810 Hybrid, which has a combination of diesel-direct and diesel-electric propulsion, facilitates average fuel savings of between 10% and 30% and cuts local emissions by 20 to 60%. The vessel has a bollard pull of 60 tonnes. Established in 1928, Iskes, which is based in IJmuiden near Amsterdam, has been operating a conventional Damen ASD Tug 2810 since November 2011.
Rolls-Royce delivers first rim-mounted permanent magnet tunnel thruster
September 21, 2012
|Design of the new permanent magnet tunnel thruster. Click to enlarge.|
Rolls-Royce has delivered the first of its newly-developed permanent magnet tunnel thrusters (TT-PM) to Norwegian company Olympic Shipping, which will operate the thruster on their vessel Olympic Octopus.
Tunnel thrusters are positioned fore and aft on a wide range of ships and provide sideways thrust for maneuvering and holding position in rough seas. The TT-PM offers numerous advantages over traditional tunnel thrusters, including a 25% increase in power output of from the same size propeller, significant reduction in noise and vibration, and the ability to be removed underwater, eliminating the need for dry docking.
Study projects net cooling of climate from ship emissions through 2050
September 09, 2012
|Shipping-induced global temperature change in 2050 using different parameterizations of Indirect Aerosol Effect (IAE). Credit: ACS, Lund et al. Click to enlarge.|
A recent study by an international team calculated that shipping causes a net cooling of climate across all parametrizations of the indirect aerosol effect (IAE) and scenarios throughout the period 1900−2050. This continued shorter-term cooling response caused by certain emissions does not negate the necessity for reductions in CO2 emissions, which are crucial to limiting the long-term warming impact of the sector, the researchers cautioned.
The team from Center for International Climate and Environmental Research—Oslo (CICERO); Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR); University of Hawaii at Manoa; and Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) estimated the global-mean radiative forcing (RF) and total net surface temperature change from the shipping sector for a range of emission scenarios using a simple climate model (SCM). The paper is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Shipping industry eyeing hydrogen fuel cells as possible pathway to emissions reduction; work by Germanischer Lloyd and DNV
September 07, 2012
|Germanischer Lloyd’s concept hydrogen-fuel cell container feeder vessel is fueled by liquid hydrogen. Source: GL. Click to enlarge.|
Although technical and operational efficiency improvements in conventional propulsion systems may lower CO2 emissions from ships by as much as 20% across the global fleet, such marked gains in efficiency will not stop the steady increase of total emissions from shipping or meet the ambitious reduction targets of the future. One possible pathway being explored by the shipping industry is the use of hydrogen fuel cells.
At a presentation at the GMEC (Global Maritime Environmental Congress) held earlier this month in Hamburg, Dr. Pierre Sames, Germanischer Lloyd’s Head of Research and Rule Development, examined the potential use of fuel cells in shipping, the use of renewable energy to produce hydrogen for use as fuel, the economics of the technology and looked at two concept designs for fuel-cell driven, hydrogen-fueled vessels.
DOE to fund 14 research projects on deepwater and Arctic methane hydrates; potential future energy supply
August 31, 2012
|Methane hydrate can form in Arctic and marine environments. Source: DOE. Click to enlarge.|
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 14 new research projects that will be a part of an expanding portfolio of projects designed to increase the understanding of methane hydrates’ potential as a future energy supply. Methane hydrates are 3D ice-lattice structures with natural gas locked inside, and are found both onshore and offshore—including under the Arctic permafrost and in ocean sediments along nearly every continental shelf in the world.
The new research projects are intended to advance understanding of the nature and occurrence of deepwater and Arctic gas hydrates and their implications for future resource development and environmental performance. The selected projects build on the completion of a successful test earlier this year that was able to safely extract a steady flow of natural gas from methane hydrates on the North Slope of Alaska. (Earlier post.)
First reference installation of Opcon Waste Heat Recovery technology for ships; potential for 5–10% fuel savings
August 26, 2012
|The MV Figaro. Click to enlarge.|
Opcon, in collaboration with Wallenius Marine, recently completed the first reference installation of its Waste Heat Recovery technology for ocean-going vessels in a project supported by the Swedish Energy Agency. (Earlier post.) The company has now received official approval from Lloyd’s Register for use at sea.
The Opcon systems generate electricity from low-value waste heat in the vessel’s steam and cooling system. The aim is to save fuel while reducing emissions of CO2, NOx, sulfur and particles. For this first reference installation aboard the Large Car-Truck Carrier (LCTC) MV Figaro, IMO 9505041, fuel savings are expected to be around 4-6%, but the potential in other installations is 5-10%, according to Opcon.
6 shipping carriers become inaugural participants in Port of Los Angeles Environmental Ship Index
August 09, 2012
Six shipping carriers have become the inaugural participants in the Port of Los Angeles Environmental Ship Index (ESI), an international clean air program that rewards ocean carriers for bringing their newest and cleanest vessels to the Port. Developed through the International Association of Ports & Harbors’ World Ports Climate Initiative, the ESI program is the first of its kind in North America and the Pacific Rim.
The web-based ESI program, already underway at 14 European ports, offers immediate and significant clean air benefits by rewarding vessel operators for voluntary engine, fuel and technology enhancements that reduce emissions from ships beyond the regulatory environmental standards set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
US Navy awards FuelCell Energy $3.8M Phase I contract for Hybrid SOFC-Battery system for Large Displacement Unmanned Underwater Vehicle
July 26, 2012
|The Navy program seeks to enable the operation of pier-launched UUVs in littorals for 70+ days. Source: US Navy. Click to enlarge.|
The US Navy has awarded FuelCell Energy, Inc. a $3.8-million Phase I contract to develop and test a Hybrid Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC)-Battery power system for large displacement undersea vehicle propulsion. The objective of the project is to develop a refuelable power system, with high energy density, that is suitable for undertaking long duration underwater missions of unmanned submersibles.
The Hybrid SOFC-Battery system will be capable of generating 1,800 kWh of electricity during a 70-day mission with no exhaust discharged outside of the vehicle at any time. It will use liquid fuel and be self-contained with no reliance on external air.