Can ships run on nutshells?

Fuel tanks at the Alfa Laval Test & Training Centre 

DFDS invested in the start-up biofuel company MASH Energy in 2019 because we want to replace fossil fuels with sustainable ones. B11 blend biofuel now ready to be tested at our partner’s Alfa Laval’s facility in Aalborg, Denmark.

We invested in the start-up biofuel company MASH Energy in 2019 because we need to bring down emissions by 45% by 2030 and start replacing fossil fuels with sustainable ones. If these new fuels are to have a chance of working on the scale that the shipping industry needs, their production needs to be thoroughly tested. MASH energy will soon be ready to ship their biofuel for testing in our partner Alfa Laval’s test lap 4 stroke engine in Aalborg, Denmark. Alfa Laval and DFDS share a history of strong collaboration, for instance on marine scrubbers that reduce air pollution. The upcoming tests are part of the ShippingLab project – a joint project where partners solve maritime challenges that are too big to handle by anyone on their own.

 

Leftover nutshells key ingredient

MASH energy produces biofuel from leftover nut shells after harvesting in India. Their second generation biofuel is made from pyrolysis, a process where organic materials are chemically decomposed at elevated temperatures without oxygen. The biofuel is a B11 blend, consisting of 11% biofuel and 89% DMA (Marine Diesel). It’s 100% ISO8217 and RMG180 compliant, meaning it’s officially fit for use on ships.

“Biofuel is a clean energy source and can be used in combination with other fuels, to fire up engines. On its own, it’s not the most ideal way for shipping to decarbonise, due to the availability of biowaste for its production and the price – it’s roughly four times the price of fossil fuels today. But it is a very good way for us to reduce our environmental footprint here and now, as it requires minimal/no changes to our ships,” says DFDS Innovation Lead Jakob Steffensen.

“Working with biofuel towards the goal of reducing emissions from fossil fuels is very interesting,” says Superintendent in DFDS’ Technical Organisation Nicolai Gjetting Andersen. He is one of two DFDS members of MASH energy’s Board. “From talking to various stakeholders inside and outside our organisation it is clear there is massive support and great wish to drive the change towards reducing emissions from fossil fuels, even if it is a lengthy and complex challenge. Biofuel is generally becoming a large commodity and is in the long run one of the interim solutions towards reducing CO2 emissions. Unfortunately, existing legislative framework does not support this and biofuel does not currently have a positive impact on DFDS’ CO2 emissions.”

 

Pearl Seaways is next

Following successful testing the next goal is trying the B11 biofuel on our vessel Pearl Seaways. DFDS has recently been granted the permission to carry out this test from the Danish Maritime Authority.

 

More to come

Go to Alfa Laval news on marine biofuel testing

Go to MASH energy

December 4, 2020