Decarbonization in shipping and air transport

Jan 15, 2024

Synthetic fuels will play a central role in air transport and ocean shipping. The combustion of these new fuels will, however, produce new emissions. The sensors from SICK reliably measure these emissions.

Welcome to part four of our series on decarbonization where we focus on the shipping industry.

Synthetic fuels will be important in air transport and ocean shipping.
Synthetic fuels will be important in air transport and ocean shipping.

Ships: the most important transportation means

With almost seven billion tonnes of goods transported per year, ships handle about 90% of global trade. Ships are the most environmentally friendly means of transport based on the quantity transported. Shipping is nevertheless responsible for about one billion tonnes of CO2 emissions. This corresponds to about 3% of the total CO2 emissions caused by humans. The International Maritime Organisation has therefore set itself the goal of achieving carbon neutral shipping by 2050. Given the 25-year service life of a ship, suitable synthetic fuels are a possible solution for reducing the CO2 emissions of existing ships.

 

Sensor solutions for emission measurement when using new fuels

The transition from fossil fuels to less environmentally harmful fuels such as ammonia, biofuels or methanol or even environmentally friendly fuels such as hydrogen is already in full swing. Each fuel offers its own advantages but also disadvantages. Liquefied natural gas as a bridge fuel will play an important role for the time being. The advantage of liquefied natural gas is that the required infrastructure already exists.

BBenjamin Witt, Principal Environmental Compliance Engineer, DNV

“The control and continuous monitoring of verified emissions data and the ability to make them available to various interest groups is essential and can no longer be ignored. The drivers for this include reporting systems such as IMO DCS, MRV, Poseidon Principles or, in future, EU ETS.

Through compliance with these requirements, the emissions performance will also have a commercial effect. Ships with emissions that do not meet the minimum requirements, or cannot be transparently accounted for, will face greater challenges in the market. Reliable emissions data are therefore the entry pass to trade.”

Benjamin Witt, Principal Environmental Compliance Engineer, DNV

The burning of new fuels creates “new” emissions. For example, nitrogen oxides and nitrous oxide are produced when burning ammonia, which is low in carbon but contains nitrogen. Methane slip needs to be taken into consideration when burning LNG, and even burning H2 produces nitrogen oxide. Methanol and biofuels also produce specific emissions. There are no fuels, therefore, that burn without emissions. The sensor solutions from SICK such as the MARSIC CEMS solution, DUSTHUNTER, a dust measuring device, or the FLOWSIC gas flow meter reliably measure the emissions

The sensor solutions from SICK that measure emissions.
The sensor solutions from SICK that measure emissions.

The MARSIC300 CEMS solution from SICK is already in use on 1,800 ships. SICK also offers the SICK Maritime Suite, a powerful portfolio of digital solutions.

CEMS solutions
Safely on the right course
MARSIC300
Digital Solutions for Integration
The digital solution for the maritime industry
SICK Maritime Suite

For remote diagnosis, the MARtracker accesses the MARSIC remotely via software in the cloud. It displays online the conformity status of the entire ship fleet. MARpems is the world's first AI-based analyzer that performs the emission measurement tasks as a digital twin. Let SICK put you on the right course.

With Maritime Suite, SICK offers a high-performance portfolio of solutions.
With Maritime Suite, SICK offers a high-performance portfolio of solutions.
With Maritime Suite, SICK offers a high-performance portfolio of solutions.
With Maritime Suite, SICK offers a high-performance portfolio of solutions.

 

Read the other parts of our series on decarbonization

Low-carbon combustion and production processes

Read more in part one of our series on decarbonization

Read more
Decarbonization: gas analysis and flow measurement for transfer and process applications

Read more in part two of our series on decarbonization

Decarbonization in the energy sector

Read more in part three of our series on decarbonization