80% of global trade by volume and 70% by value is carried by sea and handled by ports. Global marine fuel consumption is around 310 million metric tonnes per year.
In 2020, there was a shift from using heavy fuel oil to using light fuel oil to power ships. In that year, around 65.5 million metric tons of light fuel oil were consumed by ships around the world. In 2020, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) put a cap on the sulfur content of marine fuels, prompting the shipping industry to switch to cleaner fuels and equip their vessels with sulfur abatement systems.
The volume of global seaborne trade more than doubled between 1990 and 2020. In 2020, the volume of global seaborne trade was estimated to be around 11 billion tons, whereas in 1990, only about four billion tons of goods were loaded in ports worldwide. Of the around 55,000 merchant ships trading internationally, some 15,000 ships were general cargo ships as of January 1, 2021. General cargo ships thus accounted for roughly 27 percent of the world merchant fleet.
To go for IMO's (International Maritime Organisation) guidelines of less than 0.5% sulphur limit in fuel for shipping the possible coping mechanisms estimated are
- Scrubbers' installation 15 % scrubbers are expensive to install and take up space a six-week downtime is expected for scrubber installation.
- LNG as fuel (liquefied natural gas) 15% (cost of installing the LNG tank and higher fuel cost)
- Methanol (biofuel) 2.6% a drawback of alcohol fuels such as methanol is that energy contents are lower than for tradition al fuels. Given equivalent energy density, the space needed for storing methanol in a tank will be approximately twice that of traditional diesel fuels. Methanol and LNG are similar in terms of energy density
However, there is a solution for the global shipping industry to be compliant with International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) low sulphur standards in shipping fuel. We at hydroxyl systems pvt ltd have perfected a technology of depolymerisation of plastic waste which produces very low sulphur diesel oil with a gross calorific value of more than 10000 kcal/kg with sulphur as low as 0.10 % by mass, this value of low sulphur is compliant even with ECAS as per MARPOL convention.
Processing of plastic waste to diesel fuel in Hydroxy systems reactor costs about 20 cents(US ) per litre. A system which can handle 1 metric tonne of mixed plastic waste yields at least 500 litres of low sulphur diesel. The capital cost gets paid back in less than two years. Our system has no moving parts and with little bit of maintenance periodically can last for more than two decades.
What better way of getting rid of plastic waste form the oceans and the planet can we think of while we get low-cost high quality green fuel.