Investigation calls into question the benefits of using liquefied natural gas as a fuel in maritime transport


Maritime transport is responsible for most of the greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. The sustainable growth of commercial movements has multiplied the negative weight of these activities in the use of fossil fuels and, consequently, in the balance of the climate crisis.

Last year the EU set carbon intensity targets for fuels used in the marine environment, prompting the abandonment of heavy fuels that are most widely used today. The merchant fleet is, in fact, abandoning the fuel oil liquefied natural gas (LNG) month: in 2021, shipowners ordered more LNG vessels than in the previous four years.

But associations such as Transport and the Environment (T&E) warn that this fuel is far from harmless or Green. In an investigation, the findings of which were published this Tuesday, T&E found that ships emit significant amounts of methane into the atmosphere, another powerful greenhouse gas. “Specifically, 87 times stronger than CO2,” explains Carlos Bravo, Spain’s transport and environment spokesman.

The organization recorded the activity of large vessels in the largest port in Rotterdam in Europe, with a special modern infrared camera that has a special filter for the detection of hydrocarbons.

The video, dated November last year, “clearly shows methane emissions from a significant number of two vessels.” Since LNG typically contains 90% methane, “any unburned fuel that leaks into the engine consists mainly of this gas, which contributes to global warming,” the organization said.

According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), depending on the engine type, more than 0.2% to 3% of the gas released during combustion is released directly into the atmosphere.

“We are in the midst of a climate crisis, we can not release more methane into the atmosphere. Our research is only a small sample, but it should be a warning to policymakers: The advantage of LNG is betting on a lost horse. “Instead, we need to prioritize 100% green solutions based entirely on green hydrogen,” said Dolphin Gozilon, head of T&E Maritime Transport.

Source: El Diario


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