May 2015

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HP Viewpoint: Methanol takes on LNG for future marine fuels

As the lifecycle economics of using MeOH compared with other emission compliance options become more evident, we will see the tide rising on the use of MeOH as a marine engine fuel.

Dolan, G. A., Methanol Institute

On Jan. 1, a major change occurred as ships entering within 200 miles of US, Canadian, Caribbean and northern European waters began to face a 0.1% sulfur (S)-fuel limit (Fig. 1). National and regional environmental agencies in these areas have established emission control areas (ECAs) under pollution rules adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), an agency of the United Nations. Shipowners can comply by shifting to low-S marine gasoil (MGO) or marine diesel oil (MDO), but can expect a 50% increase in fuel costs. They can also install onboard emissions-scrubbing equipment and continue to use heavy fuel oil (HFO). However, these technologies are complicated, costly and unprove

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