Biofuels for maritime transportation: A spatial, techno‐economic, and logistic analysis in brazil, europe, south africa, and the usa

Francielle Carvalho*, Joana Portugal‐pereira, Martin Junginger, Alexandre Szklo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Low or zero carbon fuels are crucial for maritime transportation decarbonization goals. This paper assesses potential localities for maritime biofuels (biobunkers) production in Brazil, Europe, South Africa, and United States considering geographical, logistic, and economic aspects. This assessment combines georeferenced and techno‐economic analyses to identify suitable fuel production hotspots based on not only plant performance and costs but also on logistic integration and biomass seasonality. Five technology pathways were considered: Straight vegetable Oils (SVO), Hydrotreated Vegetable Oils (HVO), Fischer–Tropsch Biomass‐to‐liquids (FT‐BTL), Alcohol oligomerization to middle distillates (ATD), and Hydrotreated Pyrolysis Oil (HDPO). Findings reveal that biomass concentration in Brazil makes it the region with highest biobunker potential, which are mostly close to coastal areas and surpasses regional demand. Although other regions registered more limited potentials, hotspots proximity to ports would enable fossil fuel replacements in these areas. For all cases, biobunker costs (USD 21–104/GJ) are higher than conventional marine fuels prices (USD 11–17/GJ). Only 15% of the hotspots’ carbon prices that would allow its competitiveness are lower than USD 100/tCO2. Alternatives to incentivize biobunker production would be, first, to establish mandatory fuel blends and second, to join forces with other sectors that would be benefited from the co‐production of advanced biofuels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4980
Pages (from-to)1-26
JournalEnergies
Volume14
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Biomass residues
  • GIS
  • IMO
  • Logistics
  • Maritime biofuel
  • Transport fuels

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