Accelerating Biofuel Adoption: How Can We Increase the Adoption of Biofuels Through Assurance of their Quality and Traceability?
Key Focus Area:
Green Technology & Decarbonisation
Biofuels are a promising option for the maritime sector to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, owing to their “drop-in” characteristic: the ability to replace conventional maritime fuels without substantial modifications.
However, the adoption of biofuels faces several hurdles. Biofuels with fatty acid methyl esters content are prone to degradation, and traceability is a concern as the origin of biofuels affects their sustainability. Furthermore, there is a shortage of biofuel feedstock globally and some shipowners in Singapore are hesitant to utilize biofuels due to their higher costs and concerns over engine damage.
Shelf life of biofuels are shorter as compared to diesel
Current solutions to address biofuel degradation and its corrosive impact on engines include using coatings on engines/pipes, additives to mitigate degradation, and lab testing of biofuel quality
Oily nature of biofuels requires engine filters to be changed up to three times more regularly
Tracing biofuels from their origin to their final use is essential for sustainability assurance since carbon emission profiles of biofuels vary depending on their source
Solution spaces could include improving the quality of biofuels, cost-effective quality testing methods, digital passports for biofuels that track them along the supply chain, or ways to increase feedstock supply (e.g., community sources) and produce biofuels more cost-effectively.
Successful solutions will:
Have faster turnaround time to detect degradation with a cheaper, in-situ method; testing will be suitable for different onboard conditions
Account for and verify nature of feedstock and well to wake emissions
To decarbonise, biofuels are the top alternative energy option for harbour crafts in the near-term
Ensuring quality would reduce maintenance costs as biofuel degradation corrodes engine equipment
Improving the traceability of biofuels would increase trust in biofuels and ensure that actual emission reductions are achieved
Call for Proposals for this Innovation Opportunity is now closed.