Life cycle analysis of hydrogen powered marine vessels-case ship comparison study with conventional power system

Wang, Haibin and Aung, Myo Zin and Xu, Xue and Boulougouris, Evangelos (2023) Life cycle analysis of hydrogen powered marine vessels-case ship comparison study with conventional power system. Sustainability, 15 (17). 12946. ISSN 2071-1050 (

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The latest International Maritime Organization strategies aim to reduce 70% of the CO2 emissions and 50% of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from maritime activities by 2050, compared to 2008 levels. The EU has set up goals to reduce GHG emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990, and achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. The UK aims to achieve more than 68% GHG emission reduction by 2030 and net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. There are many solutions under development to tackle the challenge of meeting the latest decarbonization strategies from the IMO, EU, and UK, among which are hydrogen powered marine vessels. This paper presents a life cycle analysis study for hydrogen fuelled vessels by evaluating their performance in terms of environmental friendliness and economic feasibility. The LCA study will consider the gas emissions and costs during the life stages of the ships, including the construction, operation, maintenance, and recycling phases of the selected vessels. The results of the comparisons with the conventional version of the ships (driven by diesel generators) demonstrate the benefits of using hydrogen for marine transportation: over 80% emission reduction and around 60% life cycle cost savings. A sensitivity analysis shows that the prices of fuels and carbon credits can affect the life cycle cost, and recommendations for low H2 price and high carbon credit in the future are provided to attract the industry to adopt the new fuel.