journal article

Future Ship Emission Scenarios with a Focus on Ammonia Fuel


Current efforts by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to decarbonize the shipping sector have gained momentum, although the exact path to achieve this goal is currently unclear. However, it can be safely assumed that alternative cleaner and zero-carbon fuels will be key components in the strategy. In this work, three ship emission scenarios for 2025, 2040, and 2050 were developed that cover the area of the North and Baltic Seas. They aim at a fundamental transition in the usage of marine fuels towards ammonia as the mainly used fuel in 2050, via an intermediate step in 2040 with liquefied natural gas as the main fuel. Additionally, expected trends and developments for the shipping sector were implemented, i.e., a fleet growth by vessel size and number. Efficiency improvements were included that are in accordance with the Energy Efficiency Design Index of the IMO. The scenarios were created using a novel method based on modifications to a virtual shipping fleet. The vessels in this fleet were subject to decommission and renewal cycles that adapt them to the scenario’s target year. Emissions for this renewed shipping fleet were calculated with the Modular Ship Emission Modeling System (MoSES). With respect to ammonia engine technology, two cases were considered. The first case deals with compression ignition engines and marine gas oil as pilot fuel, while the second case treats spark ignition engines and hydrogen as the pilot fuel. The first case is considered more feasible until 2050. Reductions with the first case in 2050 compared to 2015 were 40% for CO2 emissions. However, CO2 equivalents were only reduced by 22%, with the difference mainly resulting from increased N2O emissions. NOX emissions were reduced by 39%, and different PM components and SO2 were between 73% and 84% for the same target year. The estimated NH3 slip from ammonia-fueled ships in the North and Baltic Seas was calculated to be 930 Gg in 2050. For the second ammonia engine technology that is considered more advanced, emission reductions were generally stronger and ammonia emissions smaller.
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