New fuel from plastic waste aims to replace fossil fuels in the marine industry
London-based Clean Planet Energy announced the creation of two new ultra-clean fuels manufactured to replace fossil fuels in the marine industry.
According to the company, the fuels are produced using non-recyclable waste plastics as the feedstock, therefore removing waste that would otherwise go to incineration, landfill or into the ocean. In addition to reusing these materials, when employed in ships and other vessels, the fuels are expected to provide CO2e reductions of over 75%, and significantly reduce harmful air-pollutants such as sulphur by up to 1,500x.
The products have been dubbed “ultra-clean marine residual fuel” – also known as bunker fuel or fuel oil -, which is said to meet international ISO 8712 2017 standards, and “premium marine distillate fuel,” which matches the highest EN15940 diesel specification.
“Under the IMO 2020 [International Maritime Organisation] regulations implemented last year, a ship with a scrubber installed onboard is allowed to emit 35,000ppm of sulphur into the sea when burning fossil marine fuel oil, whilst a ship without a scrubber is allowed to emit 5,000ppm of sulphur into the air”, the firm’s CTO, Andrew Odjo, said in a media statement. “In contrast, Clean Planet Energy’s marine residual fuel has a sulphur content of just 35ppm, and Clean Planet Energy’s marine distillate has a sulphur content of just 3ppm. This means that ships using Clean Planet Ocean’s marine distillate fuel can reduce sulphur pollution by over 1500x compared to ships using fossil fuel without a scrubber, and by more than 10,000x compared to ships with a scrubber”.
Odjo said that the plan is to produce these circular fuels inside eco-plants that can accept and convert some of the 203 million tonnes of non-recyclable waste-plastics expected to be discarded worldwide in 2021.
Two of these eco-plants are currently in the construction phase, with another four in development. Each facility is able to process 20,000 tonnes of waste plastics every year but the company’s final goal is to recycle and reuse over 1 million tonnes of waste plastics per annum.
“There is currently no legitimate and scaled alternative compared to using carbon-based fuels in the marine and aviation sectors. Whereas cars are moving to electric, the lifespan of large vessels means we’ll be stuck using fossil fuel engines for many years to come,” Odjo said. “By using non-recyclable waste plastics as a feedstock for fuels in these industries, we can reduce the daily CO2e emissions by 75%, keep fossil-oil in the ground, and win valuable time in the world’s battle to hit net-zero carbon emissions.”