Lloyd’s Register examining ammonia as alternative fuel

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Lloyd’s Register is working with a group of companies to examine ammonia as an alternative fuel.

The International Maritime Organization has set a goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions from commercial vessels in half by 2050. The group says commercial and cruise ships accounts for more than 2 percent of global emissions.

According to Lloyd’s, the biggest challenge for cruise lines is to cut emissions in a cost-effective way so they can stay competitive. Ships currently use conventional heavy fuel oil to power vessels.

According to the shiptechnology.com, Carnival Corporation emitted nearly 10 times more Sulphur oxide around European coasts than 260 million cars in 2017. Cruise ships are installing exhaust scrubbers, but environmentalists have claimed the open-loop design of the system sends polluted water into the ocean.

To try to clean up things, in January 2020, Samsung Heavy Industries, MISC, Lloyd’s Registry and MAN Energy Solutions launched an ammonia-fueled tanker project. LR’s global brand and external relations senior coordinator Paul Carrett said the timing is right for the project.

“Zero-emission vessel development needs full-scale prototypes and pilot studies now, exploiting any available opportunities that can enable early adoption,” he said in a statement. “The next decade will require substantial and collaborative input from all maritime stakeholders as shipping considers its decarbonization options.”

After a study with A.P. Moller — Maersk, LR has determined the best fuels for achieving zero net emissions are alcohol, biomethane and ammonia. The target date for approval in the principal of the design is September of this year.

MAN has a plan in place for the development of the engine, which is planned to be available in 2024.

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