The American Bureau of Shipping(ABS) has published its sustainability white paper, ‘Setting the Course to Low Carbon Shipping: Pathways to Sustainable Shipping,’ which categorizes the available maritime fuel options for decarbonization. Hydrogen(liquified LH2, or gaseous H2) was identified as a low-to zero-carbon fuel that can help meet the IMO GHG reduction target for 2050. Hydrogen is the latest alternative fuel to have its potential for the maritime industry explored by ABS in its industry-leading series of detailed sustainability whitepapers. The whitepaper provides information for the consideration of hydrogen as marine fuel in both the near-term and long-term.
Hydrogen fuel cell technology is becoming more economically feasible, but the process of splitting water to produce hydrogen requires that electric power be produced, which means that we still use fossil fuels that generate greenhouse gases. Unless we use fossil fuels when generating electricity for splitting the water, that’s really renewable non-polluting technology. A hydrogen economy may require the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars for an entirely new energy infrastructure of pipeline, fueling stations and power sources, from public and private money.
The Whitepaper explores the gas’ potential to reduce emissions from shipping, while evaluating its safety, regulatory and design implications. The report also details industry projects utilizing hydrogen and ABS support for its development. Finally, the whitepaper considers the projected role for hydrogen both in the maritime industry and beyond.
“While hydrogen appears to be an ideal fuel for power generation, it carries various challenges of advanced storage requirements and fire hazard mitigation. To become a competitive alternative marine fuel, hydrogen may also face the challenges of availability and high costs to scale production and transportation infrastructure. Hydrogen is characterized by having a very low tank-to-wake emissions impact, which considers the emissions produced by an energy source. However, the life cycle of hydrogen production must be considered to evaluate the overall emissions of GHG from hydrogen,” said Georgios Plevrakis, ABS Director, Global Sustainability. “As more experience is gained through hydrogen pilot projects, the marine industry is expected to adopt hydrogen as an environmentally friendly fuel of choice.”
The guidance builds on ABS research developed in the ABS Low Carbon Shipping Outlook series, to help drive decarbonization pathways for the industry.
To learn more, download the Sustainability Whitepaper: Hydrogen as Marine Fuel here.