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Testing Coal Waste-Derived Marine Fuel in Hafnia Tankers

Test waste derived marine fuel made from coal dust
File photo of a Hafnia tanker

By The Maritime Executive 10-30-2020 02:13:09

Tests are getting underway to accredit a new waste-derived marine fuel made from coal that reportedly can lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce fuel costs. Product tanker operator Hafnia and UK-based energy technology company Arq have agreed to work together on the tests of the blend component for marine fuels to optimize blends that meet environmental standards and maximize cost efficiencies.

Arq has developed a patented technology that transforms coal waste into a micro-fine hydrocarbon powder (Arq Fuel), which has a range of industrial uses, including blending into oil products to create stable dispersions. For the shipping industry, the powder derived from the coal is used as a low-sulfur blending component to produce IMO 2020 compliant marine fuels. 

Under the partnership agreement, Hafnia will conduct trials using Arq Fuel on some of its vessels. The trials are scheduled to begin in mid-2021 after the fuel secures the required accreditations. The goal is to confirm the fuel’s compatibility for Hafnia’s tankers and to determine the optimal blends for marine applications.

The agreement between Hafnia and Arq follows a series of successful tests that according to Arq demonstrated the fuel’s performance as a marine fuel component that can be used without any changes to the existing supply chain and ship engines. Arq reports that third-party research confirmed the fuel’s strong environmental credentials. Without compromising on combustion performance, the fuel mixture produces a lower level of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), than Residual Fuel Oil (RFO). 

The production process of the coal-derived product also has been calculated to be over 40 percent more environmentally beneficial than producing an equivalent amount of RFO. In addition, the process cleans up coal waste, removing legacy environmental liabilities, and remediate land for more productive purposes.

Commercial quantities of Arq Fuel will be made available in the US during the second half of 2021, at Vitol’s tankage in St Rose, New Orleans. Arq reports that it is also advancing plans to establish further processing plants and blending facilities at key hubs in the US, Europe, and Asia.