Study shows biofuels can reduce shipping emissions


United States – As the volume of marine shipping has increased substantially over the last decade, so have the corresponding greenhouse gas emissions. Between 2012 and 2018, carbon emissions from ships increased by about 10%.

Because the industry consumes a significant amount of petroleum fuel, substituting biofuel could significantly reduce the amount of greenhouse gases and other pollutants released into the atmosphere as a result of maritime shipping.

Emission cut by 40% to 93%

According to a new study conducted by researchers at the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), biomass-based fuels might significantly cut these emissions by between 40% to 93% when compared to conventional heavy fuel oil.

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), funded by the DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office and the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, demonstrated in this study that biofuels may dramatically reduce shipping emissions while staying economically viable. The study was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology and made use of publicly available datasets from ANL’s Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) model, which estimates the energy and environmental impacts of various fuels over their entire life cycle.