As explained, the industry peers, along with customers
including BMW Group, H&M Group, Levi Strauss & Co. and Marks &
Spencer, believe that LEO — a blend of lignin and ethanol — could be part of
the future solution for sustainable shipping.
Shipping accounts for 2-3% of global CO2 emissions, a
proportion that is set to increase as global trade continues to grow at a
sluggish but steady pace. As such, this industry has an urgent need to reduce
its environmental impact. The marine sector has very different fuel
requirements than automotive or aviation.
“Shipping requires bespoke low-carbon fuel solutions which
can make the leap from the laboratory to the global shipping fleet. Initiatives
such as the LEO Coalition are an important catalyst in this process,” Søren
Toft, Maersk Chief Operating Officer, explained.
Lignin is a structural bio-polymer which contributes to the
rigidity of plants. Lignin is isolated in large quantities as a byproduct of
lignocellulosic ethanol and pulp and paper mills. Currently, it is often
incinerated to produce steam and electricity.
“LEO would be a great step forward for supply chain
sustainability, and it has the potential to be a viable solution for today’s
fleet, and not just a future vision,” Craig Jasienski, Wallenius Wilhelmsen
Chief Executive Officer, commented.
The need for sustainable transport and logistics is becoming
more prevalent as global companies explore emission reduction potentials along
the entire value chain of their worldwide distributed goods.
Copenhagen University is currently running the
laboratory-scale development of this potential marine fuel. The project aims to
move into phase II – testing the fuel on actual vessel engines – in the second
quarter of 2020.
Following a successful phase II, phase III will begin – the
scaling up of LEO fuel production