Recycling Bunkers Could Help Reduce Lifecycle GHG Emissions

Thursday June 14, 2018

With industry attention having turned to the reduction of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions following ambition recently agreed at MEPC72, Ecoslops says using recycled bunkers can play a part in the bigger picture of reducing GHG emissions when producing bunker fuel.

The firm, which specializes in recycling ship slops into marine fuel, says it commissioned French consulting firm Carbone 4 to assess the carbon impact of its production site in La Mède in Provence, planned to open in 2019.

Carbone 4 concluded that, overall, the recycling process produced three times less GHG emissions to produce fuel compared to standard hydrocarbon extraction and production.

The study used a "well-to-tank" approach for its calculation, i.e. taking into account direct and indirect GHG emissions from the well up to the moment the fuel is ready to be used.

While using recycled bunkers would obviously not offer any GHG reductions beyond this point, it nevertheless highlights that burning bunkers is just one part of a much bigger picture.

A report in 2016, for example, argued that while the upcoming IMO 2020 global 0.50% sulfur cap on marine fuel will help reduce SOx, it could result in an overall increase in emissions of CO2 attributable to shipping.

In April Shipping pledged to reduce its total annual GHG emissions at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, while at the same time pursuing efforts towards phasing them out entirely.