Life cycle assessment of LNG fueled vessel in domestic services

Hwang, Sangsoo and Jeong, Byongug and Jung, Kwanghyo and Kim, Mingyu and Zhou, Peilin (2019) Life cycle assessment of LNG fueled vessel in domestic services. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 7 (10). 359. ISSN 2077-1312

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    Abstract

    This research was focused on a comparative analysis of using LNG as a marine fuel with a conventional marine gas oil (MGO) from an environmental point of view. A case study was performed using a 50K bulk carrier engaged in domestic services in South Korea. Considering the energy exporting market for South Korea, the fuel supply chain was designed with the two largest suppliers: Middle East (LNG-Qatar/MGO-Saudi Arabia) and U.S. The life cycle of each fuel type was categorized into three stages: Well-to-Tank (WtT), Tank-to-Wake (TtW), and Well-to-Wake (WtW). With the process modelling, the environmental impact of each stage was analyzed based on the five environmental impact categorizes: Global Warming Potential (GWP), Acidification Potential (AP), Photochemical Potential (POCP), Eutrophication Potential (EP) and Particulate Matter (PM). Analysis results reveal that emission levels for the LNG cases are significantly lower than the MGO cases in all potential impact categories. Particularly, Case 1 (LNG import to Korea from Qatar) is identified as the best option as producing the lowest emission levels per 1.0 × 107 MJ of fuel consumption: 977 tonnages of CO2 equivalent (for GWP), 1.76 tonnages of SO2 equivalent (for AP), 1.18 tonnages of N equivalent (for EP), 4.28 tonnages of NMVOC equivalent (for POCP) and 26 kg of PM 2.5 equivalent (for PM). On the other hand, the results also point out that the selection of the fuel supply routes could be an important factor contributing to emission levels since longer distances for freight transportation result in more emissions. It is worth noting that the life cycle assessment can offer us better understanding of holistic emission levels contributed by marine fuels from the cradle to the grave, which are highly believed to remedy the shortcomings of current marine emission indicators.