Life cycle assessment for enhanced re-liquefaction systems applied to LNG carriers; effectiveness of partial re-liquefaction system

Park, Taesoo and So, Sunglack and Jeong, Byongug and Zhou, Peilin and Lee, Jae-ung (2020) Life cycle assessment for enhanced re-liquefaction systems applied to LNG carriers; effectiveness of partial re-liquefaction system. Journal of Cleaner Production. 124832. ISSN 0959-6526 (

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The marine industry has been striving to seek for proper strategies to curb air emissions from global shipping activities. To support the transition to sustainable shipping, this paper was proposed to evaluate the holistic environmental benefits of the LNG partial re-liquefaction system applied to LNG carriers by comparing among five different combination/configuration of LNG re-liquefaction systems. The theory of life cycle assessment was employed with the help of a commercial software, Sphera GaBi version 2019 to quantify the magnitude of various emissions under different life stages of the proposed systems: manufacturing, installation, use and recycling. A case study was implemented with a 174,200 m3 LNG carrier and the input data for the analysis was collected from true-to-life sources provided by manufacturers and ship operators. The electric consumption of the five systems were calculated by means of Aspen HYSYS software. A range from 1.23 to 1.64 kWh/kg was estimated and was used as key parameters to confirm the onboard electricity demands at the use phase of the five systems. The results revealed that the partial re-liquefaction system had considerable effects on the reduction in emission levels across the following five impact categories: Global Warming Potential, Particulate Matter, Photochemical Ozone Creation Potential, Eutrophication Potential and Acidification Potential. An optimal option which adopted the partial re-liquefaction system was found to release 4.49 × 108 kg CO2 eq. 1.25 × 106 kg PM2.5 eq. 7.16 × 106 kg NMVOC eq. 2.46 × 106 kg N eq. and 1.13 × 107 kg SO2 eq. in its lifetime, which were roughly equivalent to 25% emission reductions compared to the rest of the candidates to which the partial re-liquefaction principle was not applied. Lastly, it clearly presents the effectiveness of life cycle assessment. This research, particularly, suggests that this holistic approach should not be underused for resolving innumerable maritime environmental issues that appear unsolvable with the current practices in the maritime industry.