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Decarbonization technologies for reducing maritime pollution

MAY 19, 2023
Emission reduction potential and economic feasibility of maritime shipping technologies.
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Marine pollution is worsening with continually increasing shipping demands. In response, maritime organizations have established strict emissions regulations, leading to a new wave of research on the green potential of shipping technologies.

The application of decarbonization technologies is challenging, however. A single, perfect option for long-term sustainability is currently unavailable. Various factors such as economic feasibility, potential alternative fuels, as well as compatibility issues must also be considered. To this end, Huang and Duan investigated multiple promising low-carbon maritime technologies.

“Existing studies often focus on a single emission reduction technology, its decarbonization capabilities, and economic implications,” said author Jianxun Huang. “A comprehensive review of maritime transportation decarbonization is critically needed to evaluate different solutions for the complicated problem of emission reduction in marine transportation.”

Huang and Duan discussed the benefits and limitations of emission reducing technologies, including fuels, power systems, weather routing optimization, and ship hull retrofitting techniques. Integration of alternative fuels and hybrid power systems is promising, but long-term solutions still require systematic changes and further research.

The duo aims to help shipbuilders and operators meet regulations and inspire researchers to develop better decarbonization technologies.

“Our group is working on several projects related to the emission reduction technologies reviewed in this paper. One of these projects investigates the hydrodynamic performance of marine coatings to evaluate their drag reduction and emission reduction capabilities. Another project will examine the hydrodynamic and acoustic effects of anti-fouling coatings on marine propellers, “said Huang. “There are many research opportunities in this field.”

Source: “A comprehensive review of emission reduction technologies for marine transportation,” by Jianxun Huang and Xili Duan, Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2023). The article can be accessed at https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0150010 .

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