Can we reach net-zero shipping with marine hydrogen fuel?

Marine hydrogen fuel technology could generate energy on board all vessels. This would make it possible for the fuel to be produced with reduced carbon emissions. When the fuel itself is used, it will not produce any carbon emissions, making net-zero shipping a possibility.

Hydrogen is typically found naturally as a compound of either water or methane. To acquire pure hydrogen, the element must be separated from these compounds. At standard conditions, hydrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, relatively nonreactive and highly combustible gas with a wide flammability range.

The maritime shipping industry contributes an estimated 3% to total global greenhouse gas emissions. Despite the fact that many governments, companies and sectors are aiming to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the maritime industry’s emissions are expected to rise by as much as 130 percent within that same span of time.

net-zero shipping

How would marine hydrogen fuel work?

Antonis Trakakis – RINA Hellas Classification Society Technical Director Marine –  proposed the combination of LNG with steam in a gas reformer. This would convert the LNG molecules into hydrogen and carbon dioxide. This production process would reduce the carbon emissions from ships when compared to the use of current fossil fuels. The use of hydrogen in this way will make possible to reach net-zero shipping, by helping the marine industry to be able to meet its 2050 emissions reduction target.

However, producing H2 in this way is not entirely carbon emission-free, particularly as Trakakis did not make specific recommendations for the use of carbon capture and storage technology. Using the fuel itself to power the ship can be accomplished without any carbon emissions.

Hydrogen is challenging and expensive to deliver and store on a ship. Marine can solve these challenges. Methanol to hydrogen generator products are simple, robust, and cost-effective and produce pure fuel cell grade hydrogen anywhere you need it, in real-time, as required by the marine fuel cell power solution. No expensive and volume-intensive high-pressure hydrogen storage is required on the vessel, and the ship is able to achieve target mission ranges before refueling.


Our work with hydrogen

UH2 works with solutions for production of green hydrogen, through electrolysis with zero carbon emissions, to then be stored and distributed, so it can be used to heat buildings, manufacture steel or go into fuel cells for trucks and ships.

Able to provide the full project needs, we strive to add value through rapid acquisitions in strategic locations, implementing ongoing technology improvements and innovative solutions, as well as creating bankable value chains.

We are currently developing H2 and NH3 projects in Canada, Sweden, Spain, Portugal and Brazil.

Check out our project here.

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