Maersk And Partners to Develop Lignin/Ethanol Fuel

Credit: Maersk

Published Oct 29, 2019 8:27 PM by The Maritime Executive

A.P. Moller - Maersk, alongside with Wallenius Wilhelmsen, BMW Group, H&M Group, Levi Strauss & Co. and Marks & Spencer, have announced plans to explore LEO - a blend of lignin and ethanol - that could be part of the future solution for sustainable shipping.

The companies have formed the LEO Coalition to explore the environmental and commercial viability of LEO fuel for shipping. Lignin is a structural bio-polymer which contributes to the rigidity of plants. It 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.

“Our customers’ ambitions on sustainability are increasing rapidly, and we applaud this development. Clearly, 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,” says Craig Jasienski, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Chief Executive Officer.

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.