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Nine companies have started “Ship Carbon Recycling WG” of Japan’s CCR Study Group – Cross-industry initiatives for zero-emission ship fuels through methanation technology

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Japanese nine companies (Note 1) have started the Ship Carbon Recycling Working Group (hereinafter referred to as “WG”) formed within Japan’s Carbon Capture & Reuse (CCR) Study Group (Note 2),and held its first meeting. Participating members are EX Research Institute Ltd., Hitachi Zosen Corporation, Japan Marine United Corporation, JFE Steel Corporation, JGC Corporation, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd., Nippon Kaiji Kyokai(ClassNK), Nippon Steel Corporation, and Sanoyas Shipbuilding Corporation.

As the effects of climate change become apparent, carbon recycling, a method used to capture and reuse emitted carbon dioxide (CO2), is attracting attention as one of the paths to a decarbonized society.

Formed within the CCR Study Group in August 2019, the WG aims to explore the feasibility of the concept of utilizing methanation technology (Note 3) for zero-emission ship fuels (Note 4). Through its activities, the WG aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero in sea transportation, which accounts for 99.6% of Japanese imports and exports, and thereby contribute to the formation of a sustainable society.

Specifically, the nine companies listed above plan to assume carbon recycling supply chain of methanation fuel that involves the supply of feedstock CO2, transportation of the feedstock, methanation, and conversion into marine fuel. They will calculate the estimated amount of CO2 emissions in the supply chain, and based on these results, identify technical challenges and develop a roadmap for its realization.

The first stage of activities involves: (1) Separation, capture and liquefaction of CO2 emitted from steelworks (2) Transportation of liquefied CO2 by ship to a hydrogen supply site (3) Generation of synthetic methane from CO2 and hydrogen by methanation reaction, and (4) Liquefaction of the synthetic methane and using it as marine fuel.

(Note 1)

EX Research Institute Ltd. Hiroshi Naito
President
Hitachi Zosen Corporation Sadao Mino
President & Chief Operating Officer
Japan Marine United Corporation Kotaro Chiba
President and CEO
JFE Steel Corporation Yoshihisa Kitano
President and CEO
JGC Corporation Yutaka Yamazaki
Representative Director, President
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.
(WG coordinator)
Junichiro Ikeda
President & CEO
Nippon Kaiji Kyokai(ClassNK)
(WG secretariat)
Hiroaki Sakashita
President & CEO
Nippon Steel Corporation Eiji Hashimoto
President
Sanoyas Shipbuilding Corporation. Takashi Ueda
President & CEO

(Note 2)
The CCR Study Group was established with the objectives of proposing effective carbon neutral measures to reduce the use of fossil fuels by offering alternative energies such as synthetic methane, which is generated by combining CO2 generated by industries with renewable energy-derived hydrogen, and contributing to the establishment of a new energy supply system by 2050.

(Note 3)
Methanation is a technology for synthesizing methane, the main component in natural gas, by causing a chemical reaction between hydrogen and CO2 in a reactor vessel filled with a catalyst. It uses emitted CO2 separated and captured from industrial facilities. As the CO2 generated when combusting synthesized methane is considered to be offset by the separated and captured CO2, it is expected that CO2 emissions can be significantly reduced by using hydrogen generated by electrolyzing water with electricity derived from renewable energy.

(Note 4)
The International Maritime Organization (IMO), which is considering measures to reduce GHG emissions in international shipping, adopted a GHG reduction strategy in April 2018, aiming to improve carbon intensity of the sector by at least 40% in 2030 and reduce annual GHG emissions by at least 50% in 2050, both compared to 2008 levels, and eventually phase out GHG emissions as early as possible within the century. Fuel methanation has gathered attention as a highly expected technology for the realization of GHG zero emission.

Environment

Joint R&D starts for use of ammonia in marine transportation to reduce GHG emissions

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Joint R&D starts for use of ammonia in marine transportation to reduce GHG emissions. Image: NYK Line
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NYK Line, Japan Marine United Corporation, and Nippon Kaiji Kyokai signed a joint R&D agreement for the commercialization of an ammonia-fueled ammonia gas carrier (AFAGC) that would use ammonia as the main fuel, in addition to an ammonia floating storage and regasification barge (A-FSRB).

Background

Since carbon dioxide is not emitted when ammonia is burned, it is viewed to have promise as a next-generation fuel that could mitigate shipping’s impact on global warming. In addition, it is said that zero emissions can be realized by utilizing CO2-free hydrogen* as a raw material for ammonia. In particular, a significant reduction in CO2 emissions is expected to be achieved by replacing coal and natural gas as the main fuels for power generation.

Parties in Japan have succeeded in generating electricity through the use of a gas turbine with 100% ammonia. In addition, innovative next-generation thermal-power-generation technologies that contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions are being developed. These technologies are aimed at generating electricity by co-firing ammonia at coal-fired power stations.

The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is a significant issue in the marine transportation sector. In 2018, the International Maritime Organization set the goal of halving GHG emissions from the international maritime sector by 2050 and reaching a target of zero as early as the end of this century.

Ammonia is expected to be used as an alternative fuel for vessels. As demand for ammonia fuel is foreseen to expand, the need for a transportation infrastructure for stable supply is expected to increase. Thus, the companies have decided to start this joint R&D of AFAGC and A-FSRB.

Overview of Joint R&D

Ammonia-fueled Ammonia Gas Carrier ( AFAGC)
Large-scale marine transportation of ammonia is currently carried out by multi-purpose LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) vessels. In this project, we will be engaged in the R&D of a liquefied ammonia gas carrier. It is expected that the use of ammonia, which is the cargo, as a marine fuel will contribute to the early realization of zero emissions for oceangoing vessels.

Ammonia Floating Storage and Regasification Barge (A-FSRB)
In this joint R&D project, we will be engaged in the R&D of a barge** that is equipped with a floating storage and regasification facility exclusively for ammonia for the first time in the world. This project is expected to contribute to the early introduction of ammonia fuel by utilizing the barge as an alternative to land facilities (storage tanks, regasification facilities, etc.) for the stable supply of ammonia fuel.

Joint R&D starts for use of ammonia in marine transportation to reduce GHG emissions. Image: NYK Line

Joint R&D starts for use of ammonia in marine transportation to reduce GHG emissions. Image: NYK Line

Future Outlook

This joint R&D aims not only to utilize ammonia as a marine fuel but also to establish methods for the mass transportation and supply of ammonia and to become a solution for introducing a mixed combustion of ammonia into coal-fired power stations operated by Japanese electric power companies.

As a result, the R&D is expected to contribute significantly to the decarbonization of not only the maritime industry but also the energy industry.

* CO2-free hydrogen
One way of producing hydrogen without generating CO2 is through the use of renewable energy. A second way is by using natural gas or coal together with carbon capture and storage. CO2-free ammonia synthesis is technology for synthesizing ammonia using such CO2-free hydrogen.

Joint R&D starts for use of ammonia in marine transportation to reduce GHG emissions. Image: NYK Line

Joint R&D starts for use of ammonia in marine transportation to reduce GHG emissions. Image: NYK Line

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Nikola receives landmark order of 2,500 battery-electric waste trucks from Republic Services

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Nikola receives landmark order of 2,500 battery-electric waste trucks from Republic Services. Image: Nikola Corporation
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Nikola Corporation a global leader in zero-emission and infrastructure solutions, announces a minimum order of 2,500 electrified refuse trucks from Republic Services, expandable up to 5,000. This order is to begin full production deliveries in 2023 with on-road testing likely to begin in early 2022. The refuse trucks are anticipated to carry up to an industry-leading 720kWh of energy storage.

“Nikola specializes in heavy-duty, zero-emission Class 8 trucks. The refuse market is one of the most stable markets in the industry and provides long-term shareholder value,” said Nikola Founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton. “The Nikola Tre powertrain is ideal for the refuse market as it shares and uses the same batteries, controls, inverters and e-axle. By sharing the Tre platform, we can drive the cost down for both programs by using the same parts. You couldn’t pick a better partner than Republic Services, a leader in long-term environmental sustainability and customer service. Republic Services will help us ensure the Nikola Tre meets customer and fleet lifecycle demands and we are excited to have them participate in the design process.”

Republic Services is the second largest recycling and solid waste provider in the U.S. and is recognized as an industry leader in providing environmentally responsible, sustainable solutions to its customers.

“This is a game changer,” said Nikola CEO, Mark Russell. “Refuse truck customers have always ordered chassis from truck OEMs and bodies from other suppliers. Nikola has fully integrated the chassis and body, covering both with a single factory warranty. Trucks will include both automated side loaders and front-end loaders — all of which will be zero-emission.”

The powertrain software will be limited to 1,000 HP and is expected to outperform current diesel and natural gas competitors. The new platform can give refuse trucks nearly three-times the HP of natural gas and diesel options, giving operators the ability to go up hills with full loads without issue — a challenge natural gas vehicle manufacturers have been working to solve.

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World’s first zero-emission top handles performing well at Port of Los Angeles

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World's first zero-emission top handles performing well at Port of Los Angeles. Image: Port of Los Angeles
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The world’s first zero-emissions top handlers, unveiled last fall as part of a pre-commercial demonstration project at the Port of Los Angeles, are now being used in daily operations at the Everport Container Terminal.

“We are pleased with performance results that we are receiving from drivers, mechanics and Everport management as the equipment is tested daily in real-world conditions,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.  “We are doing everything possible to advance commercially feasible solutions to meet our goal of transitioning all cargo-handling equipment to zero emissions by 2030.”

The two battery-electric top handlers were designed and built in the U.S. by Taylor Machine Works, Inc. a leading heavy-duty equipment manufacturer and the largest supplier of top handlers in service at the Port. Also known as top picks, top handlers are off-road vehicles with an overhead boom for loading containers weighing up to 100,000 pounds onto trucks and trains, unloading them, and stacking them on terminals between pickups and deliveries.

The top handlers run on a one-megawatt battery designed to operate for up to 18 hours between charges. Each top handler has a data logger for tracking hours of operation, charging frequency, energy usage and other performance indicators. Additionally, drivers and mechanics are providing input on the maneuverability, noise level and safety of the equipment.

The battery-electric top handlers are a key component of the Port’s $7.7 million Everport Advanced Cargo-Handling Demonstration Project. The California Energy Commission is supporting the large-scale zero-emissions technology project with a $4.5 million sustainability grant.

The Everport demonstration is one of 16 projects in which the Port is either the lead agency or a participant working with multiple partners to test near-zero emissions and zero-emissions engines, emissions control technology, and alternative fueling and charging stations. In addition to the battery-electric top handlers, the projects include testing ultra-low NOx renewable natural gas equipment and fully battery-electric fuel cell heavy-duty trucks; battery-electric forklifts, yard tractors, and rubber-tired gantry cranes; and emissions control equipment on large ships and harbor craft.

Eliminating tailpipe emissions from cargo-handling equipment is essential to achieving the Port’s larger goal of reducing greenhouse gases from all port-related sources. Port targets call for reducing GHGs 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

The Port of Los Angeles remains open with all terminals operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles facilitated $276 billion in trade during 2019. San Pedro Bay port complex operations and commerce facilitate one in nine jobs in the five-county Southern California region.

 

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