Could ammonia be shipping and aviation’s green fuel of the future?
This may be the option for an industry being pushed to cut its emissions in half by 2050, but the challenges are huge
On the high seas off the coast of Scandinavia, cargo ships are a familiar sight ferrying supplies to the region’s oil platforms. If scientists have their way, a new type of vessel could soon appear on the horizon, powered not by polluting hydrocarbons, but by something else: ammonia.
Wärtsilä, the world’s biggest ship-engine manufacturer, announced this month that it was working on the first full-scale test of ammonia as a green fuel in ships. The goal? The Finnish group aims to find better ways to comply with global efforts to tackle climate change as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) pushes the sector to cut its emissions in half by 2050.
“It is a huge undertaking to change the shipping industry,” said Egil Hystad of Wärtsilä. “Shipping is emitting carbon dioxide corresponding to 40 million personal cars every year. That’s one billion tons of carbon dioxide.”..