The Cleanest Ship Project shows shipping emissions can be drastically reduced

The Cleanest Ship Project is proving that the application of higher specification fuel and exhaust treatment solutions can drastically reduce shipping emissions. While this sounds like common sense the Cleanest Ship Project is the first time I’ve heard of it being put into practice.

The ship that has undergone modification is the MV Victoria. She is a motor tank vessel owned by BP and operates in the inland waterways in the Port of Rotterdam and Antwerp areas.

Motor Vessel Victoria

The emission reduction techniques utilized on the project are the Advising Tempomaat (ATM) economy optimisation system (Techno Fysica), low sulphur fuel, selective catalytic reduction and particulate matter filters.

The ATM advises the skipper on the most economical combination of route and speed, enabling the vessel to arrive on time with a most efficient use of fuel.

The low sulphur fuel equal to European road standard diesel and is a precondition for application of particulate matter filters and efficient reduction of SOX emissions, which are directly related to the sulphur content of the fuel.

The Nauticlean S system (Hug Engineering) combines a soot filter and a selective catalytic reduction system in the same reactor. The filter is equipped with a diesel full-flow regenerative burner.

Expected savings per year:

Fuel consumption 7%
Production of CO2 7%
Production of SOx 99%
Production of NOx 92%
Production of PM 98%

The ongoing results can be viewed here. At the time of writing the ATM was not reporting CO2 emissions but the savings in the other categories are impressive.

Source: Cleanest Ship Project via EU

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Butanol could supersede ethanol

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) has published an article explaining why biobutanol is a much better fuel than ethanol and how the technology to produce it biologically is advancing.

The article references research being conducted by Jim Liao and colleagues at the University of California, UK-based company Green Biologics and of course the BP and DuPont joint venture (previous post).

I particularly like the Green Biologics approach of bolting biobutanol plants onto wood pulp mills and sugar mills to take advantage of their waste streams. Green Biologics have even gone to the trouble of trade marking Butafuel™:

Our Butafuel™ product is an advanced transportation biofuel, based on butanol, offering a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future.

The RSC article suggests Green Biologics plans to demonstrate the process on effluent streams from a wood pulp mill in Scandinavia and molasses from sugar producers in South Africa. They are obviously confident in their technology and it would be great to see it succeed.

Source: RSC via Checkbiotech

Jatoil IPO gets strong investor support

Jatoil Limited has announced its Initial Public Offering (IPO) was oversubscribed following strong investor support. The company expects to list on the Australian Stock Exchange in the week commencing 17 December. The press release has the financial details.

Jatoil’s Executive Chairman Dr Mike Taverner, speaking from the Bali Climate Change Conference in Indonesia said:

Jatoil is delighted with the investor response to our IPO. There is strong interest in the rising international biofuels industry and in Jatoil’s non-food biodiesel business plan.

Jatoil is different to other biofuel companies operating in the Australian domestic market because we will supply rising international demand for biofuels by both growing and selling low-cost, non-food biodiesel feedstock overseas.

Jatoil will supply oil from the Jatropha plant for biodiesel production. Jatoil is moving directly into Jatropha oil production by partnering with local companies and communities in Asia to supply Jatropha oil to the fast-developing Asian economies and Europe where the EU is mandating increasing levels of biofuel usage.”

Jatoil also supports the recent call by Caltex Australia (see below) for a transition in Australia to biodiesel derived from non-food feedstocks. Jatoil’s entire business is based on supplying the next generation of biodiesel feedstocks that are both non-food and environmentally and also socially responsible.”

Jatropha oil is emerging as the global biofuel feedstock of choice. The BP-backed D1 Oils last month announced a major expansion of its Jatropha operations in India, and one successful Australian biofuels company (previous post) recently announced that over time it planned to convert from its existing palm oil operations to Jatropha.

Extract from the Caltex press release dated 27 November 2007:

Caltex supports development of biofuels in Australia. We achieved our volume target for 2006 under the former government’s Biofuels Action Plan and have already achieved our target for 2007. We advocate continuation of this plan under the new Labor government.

We also see the need for the government to prepare a comprehensive plan for biofuels in Australia through to 2020, including consideration of some pressing short term regulatory and financial issues including the biodiesel blend standard and the longer term transition to non-food biofuels feedstocks.”

Source: Jatoil, Caltex (thanks for the tip Sreenivas)

Jatropha and biobutanol form the basis of BP’s biofuels strategy

Reuters have reported that BP is focusing on developing jatropha and biobutanol for future sustainable biofuel production. Their head of biofuels, Philip New, has said that although BP are major users of ethanol, there is now scope to use biobutanol which can be made from biomass. He also confirmed that BP was counting on jatropha as a sustainable biofuel.

Mr New stated that BP was looking at a range of technologies aside from jatropha and butanol that included algae that converts carbon dioxide into a vegetable oil.

I’m not whether this strategy covers Australia. The Reuters article was written in Amsterdam and reported on Yahoo News India so it may be written with an Indian context. Regardless, it would be great to see BP buck the trend and introduce biobutanol to Australia.

Source: Reuters via The Big Biofuels Blog

Biobutanol to get a tax break in the UK

In their 2007 pre-budget report Delloite are saying that biobutanol will soon benefit from an excise reduction:

The Chancellor proposes to reduce the excise duty on biobutanol from 50.35 to 30.35 pence per litre. The reduction will apply to biobutanol used as a road fuel in specific pilot projects to be individually approved by HM Revenue & Customs. The measure will take effect 21 days after the associated statutory instrument is laid before Parliament.

No doubt BP are very happy to hear this as they are soon to market biobutanol blended fuel to motorists in the UK (previous post).

This TimesOnline article, while a little old, has more information on biobutanol and biofuel use in the UK.

Source: Delloite

BP to sell biobutanol blend fuel in the UK this year

As reported earlier, BP and DuPont formed a partnership to develop biobutanol as a transport fuel. DuPont are now publicising the fact that biobutanol will make its debut later this year in the United Kingdom. BP will distribute and market biobutanol mixed with petrol in a mixture that DuPont believes is likely to be around 16 percent biobutanol and 84 percent petrol.

Where DuPont will take biobutanol after the United Kingdom is the subject of discussion inside the company. If the UK introduction of the fuel goes well, biobutanol will be of great interest to countries that import a significant amount of petroleum, but have multiple crops that can be converted to biobutanol.

Source: Media Newswire