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Future Fuels for Shipping: Hydrogen & FT Drop-in Fuels

Thanks to everyone who joined today’s web conference on the topic, “Future Fuels for Shipping.”  This was our second in a series of web conferences on the topic. Our speakers were Rob Campbell, Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer of Ballard Power Systems, and Neville Hargreaves, Waste to Fuels at Velocys. Rob focused on hydrogen as a potential future fuel for shipping while Neville will focus on the potential of novel low/negative carbon fuels, such as the product Velocys is producing and currently scaling up.

A Few Key Points from the Discussion

Hydrogen

  • Fuel cell technology + green hydrogen are now recognized as critical to meeting CO2 and pollution targets.
  • Fuel cells will play a key role in helping marine industries address GHG emissions on the water, and in ports.
  • Major investments and partnerships are accelerating in the space, and many governments have issued roadmaps to help commercialize hydrogen.
  • Costs continue to decrease for hydrogen, including for green hydrogen.

FT Sustainable Fuels

  • Fischer-Tropsch (FT) fuels, like the type Velocys is commercializing, are drop-in fuels that can be carbon negative with the addition of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and made from plentiful sustainable feedstocks, such as municipal solid waste and woody biomass.
  • The Velocys technology has been demonstrated at commercial scale and a number of projects are planned to scale up.
  • Carbon-negative, sustainably-sourced fuels can be made available as soon as plants are built (within four years)
  • There are challenges in the marine sector for advanced biofuels: marine/shipping fuels do not qualify for credits under existing programs, there currently is no decarbonization structure agreed for the sector and competition for sustainable feedstocks from the aviation sector could be an issue in the coming years.

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Speaker Bios

Rob Campbell was appointed Chief Commercial Officer at Ballard Power Systems in May 2017. Mr. Campbell’s responsibilities include global business development, sales, marketing, product line management and after-sales service activities in the Company’s key Power Products markets of Heavy Duty Motive, Material Handling and Back-up Power. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering at Queen’s University and an MBA in Finance and Marketing at York University’s Schulich School of Business, and is a licensed Professional Engineer with the Professional Engineers Association of Ontario.

Neville Hargreaves has over 30 years’ experience in the fuels, energy and consulting industries. He joined Velocys in 2011 as Business Development Director for Europe. He is now responsible for the commercial, financial and corporate development of the Altalto waste-to-jet-fuel project in the UK and for UK government relations and communications. He has led teams to deliver complex projects with many stakeholders across global public companies and government, brought over 70 new products to market, led two small businesses and launched a successful innovation programme for the UK government. He holds an MA in chemistry from Cambridge University and a PhD from University College London, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Background

Without additional policy measures, carbon emissions from global shipping are projected to reach approximately 1,090 million tons by 2035, according to the International Transport Forum. This would represent a 23% growth of emissions by 2035 compared to 2015. Historical emissions from international maritime transport increased by 80% or 3.0% per year from 1990 to 2010. Left unchecked, shipping-related emissions are on track to soar by as much as 250% by 2050 as global trade expands, with the greatest increases coming from shipping routes around Africa and Asia.

The IMO has agreed last year an initial strategy calling for a 50% total annual GHG emissions reduction by 2050 compared to 2008 while pursuing efforts toward phasing out these emissions entirely. The initial strategy lists short-, mid- and long-term measures that could be taken in the 2018-2030+ time period, but at this time are not legally binding. Future fuels that are already being discussed include methanol, ammonia, hydrogen, biofuels and LNG.

Tammy Klein is a consultant and strategic advisor providing market and policy intelligence and analysis on transportation fuels to the auto and oil industries, governments, and NGOs. She writes and advises on petroleum fuels, biofuels, alternative fuels, automotive fuels, and fuels policy.

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