New Hybrid Bunker Fuel Lowers Emissions

Wednesday April 2, 2014

A US company says it has developed a hybrid fuel made of diesel and glycerol that reduces nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM), and greenhouse gas emissions, technology news site Gizmag reports.

The SeaChange Group LLC worked with the Maine Maritime Academy to produce the fuel, designed for direct-injection engines.

"International shipping has come under stringent emissions regulations and ship operators around the world are looking for drop-in fuels such as this one to reduce emissions and maintain engine power and fuel efficiency," said Richard Kimball, director and associate professor of engineering at the Marine Engine Testing and Emissions Laboratory (METEL).

Testing at METEL showed a 25 to 50 percent reduction in smoke emissions compared with ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD), and NOx dropped by 5 to 15 percent.

Higher concentration of glycerol produced lower emissions but also resulted in a lower energy density, requiring higher overall fuel consumption.

With the findings, the company has secured additional funding from both the Maine Technology Institute and U.S. Department of Transportation to test the technology in working vessels this year.

Glycerol, a byproduct of the biodiesel industry, is also being investigated by a consortium of UK firms as a potential resource for green shipping.