A multi-disciplinary team including a steel manufacturer, an engineering company, shipowners, shipbuilders and a classification society have come together to form the Ship Carbon Recycling Working Group, set up within Japan’s Carbon Capture and Reuse (CCR) Study Group. Member companies include EX Research Institute, Hitachi Zosen, Japan Marine United, JFE Steel, JGC Corporation, Mitsui O.S.K., ClassNK, Nippon Steel and Sanoyas Shipbuilding.
The group will examine the feasibility of using methanation technology to create zero-emission fuels. Methanation is a means by which synthetic methane can be produced, using hydrogen and carbon dioxide that has already been emitted and captured from industrial facilities. The carbon dioxide generated when combusting the synthetic methane is offset by the captured carbon dioxide used as feedstock.
Shipping is estimated to account for 99.6% of Japan’s imports and exports and the nine member companies aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in marine transport substantially, potentially to zero. The group will develop plans for a supply chain of synthetic methane fuel: from the supply of carbon dioxide feedstock and its transport; methanation; and subsequently conversion to marine fuel. They will also calculate the estimated volume of carbon dioxide emissions created along this supply chain. Depending on their findings, the group will then decide whether to proceed with further development of the methanation technology.