Carbon dioxide emissions from aircraft and ships contribute about 3% to 4% of global annual emissions each, and opportunities to reduce their impacts are abound. A test of a civilian jet running on 100% renewable biofuel shows sharp reduction in emissions, including a 49% drop in black carbon which contributes to climate change. Shipping line Maersk has also done well to reach its 2020 target to reduce CO2 emissions by 25% from 2007 level, eight years early! Read more
Demonstration Project is Next Step to 100% Renewable Jet Fuel
SustainableBusiness.com News (18 January 2013):
Until recently, the use of algae, oils and other renewable fuels have been introduced for jet fuel and gasoline in small amounts, usually 5-20% blended into petroleum. Still, it was pretty exciting when the first commercial flights ran on these fuels in November 2011.
But on October 29, 2012, the first civilian jet flew for an hour powered by 100% renewable biofuel.
Popular Science named the October 29th flight as one of the top 25 science events of 2012.
The airplane ran more efficiently than on petroleum aviation fuel and it produced half the aerosol emissions, 25% less particulates, and 49% less black carbon, all important climate change forcers, according to Canada’s National Research Council, which measured the results.
Now, a demonstration project will take that a step closer to commercialization of 100% drop-in renewable replacement for jet, diesel, and gasoline fuels. And the partners believe the fuel will be cost-competitive with petroleum around 2015.
The process, ISOCONVERSION, converts oils from plants and algae into Renewable, Aromatic, Drop-in (Readi) fuels known as ReadiJet® and ReadiDiesel®. These fuels are ready to use, without blending, in turbine and diesel engines designed to operate on petroleum-based fuels.
The low-cost process converts any non-edible fats and oils directly into renewable fuels that are virtually indistinguishable from their petroleum counterparts.
It does so by using water to convert renewable oils into a crude oil intermediate, which is then hydrotreated and fractionated with conventional refinery catalysts and equipment into alternative fuels.
Applied Research Associates and Blue Sun Energy are working together on the design, construction, and operation of the demonstration project, which will produce 100 barrels a day. That’s a big enough fuel sample to get ASTM certification for the fuels.
The project, in St. Joseph, Missouri, will break ground this quarter and be operational by fall. Blue Sun also operates a biodiesel facility there and is about to commercialize an enzymatic process that can produce the highest quality fuel from any feedstock at the lowest production costs in the US.
In March, competitors Airbus, Boeing and Brazil’s Embraer announced they will work together to develop affordable biofuels for the airplane industry.
Learn more about ReadiFuels:
Environmental Leader (25 January 2013):
Maersk Beats 2020 Carbon Goal
Maersk Line has reached, eight years early, its target of reducing CO2 emissions by 25 percent from 2007 levels. The shipping company has now increased its 2020 goal to a 40 percent reduction.
The company says increased operational efficiency, network and voyage optimization, slow steaming and technical innovation helped it reach its CO2 target early, and will also help it achieve its new 40 percent reduction goal.
Additionally, Maersk Line COO Morten Engelstoft says the company will continue working with its vessel leasing partners to retrofit their ships, and will begin using Triple-E ships this year. These will be the world’s largest and most energy-efficient ships, according to Engelstoft, emitting 50 percent less emissions than the industry average.
Maritime shipping carries an estimated 90 percent of globally traded goods, Engelstoft says. While shipping is the most energy-efficient way to transport cargo, shipping emissions contribute 3 to 4 percent of the global annual CO2 total.
Cutting its own CO2 has made the company more cost-competitive because it has helped Maersk Line customers reduce their emissions, Engelstoft says.
Maersk Line, along with Cargill, DNV, Unilever, Wärtsilä and other major companies, is a member of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative, a global coalition of 20 companies that have pledged to improve the industry’s environmental impacts through a broad range of goals, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The company was also among the first to join the Port of Los Angeles’ Environmental Ship Index, an international clean air incentives program that rewards ocean carriers for bringing their newest and cleanest vessels to port.
In late 2012, Maersk Line became the first shipping company to receive global certification from the American Bureau of Shipping for energy management. ABS requirements for energy management are based on the ISO 50001 international standard.
The company saved almost $90 million in energy costs over three years by measuring the performance of individual vessels, Maersk Line announced in July 2012.