Hydrogen Will be Bunker Fuel of the Future, Energy Expert Predicts

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Friday October 18, 2019

Shipping is to experience three decades of rapid change, the International Maritime Organisation symposium on alternative fuels has heard.

Tristan Smith, a reader at UK university, University College London, and an expert on energy transition, said that part of that experience of change will be the rise of hydrogen as the main fuel for the global fleet.

His pitch for hydrogen (made from ammonia) is necessary if the industry is to meet the IMO's target to cut emissions 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels.

Smith did not favour liquified natural gas as marine fuel either as having a viable role in the transition towards zero-emissions fuel or as a displacement for oil-derived bunker fuel.

"The long-term future belongs to hydrogen-based fuel," he told the symposium.

Smith said that trials for producing ammonia are underway. But the fuel itself must be produced in a sustainable way as blue ammonia (with carbon capture) or green ammonia (from renewable energy), he said.