Japan’s coastal RoRo pilots waste cooking oil and biofuel mix

Japan's coastal RoRo pilots waste cooking oil and biofuel mix

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) has announced that an MOL Coastal Shipping-operated coastal roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) vessel, the ‘Tetsuun Maru No.1’, was successfully operated using biofuel made by mixing waste cooking oil directly with heavy fuel oil.

The biofuel used aboard the vessel is created by combining waste cooking oil obtained from vegetable oils and fats in Japan that have not been chemically treated with heavy fuel oil. This is Japan’s first endeavour to employ biofuel in maritime vessels.

The biofuel was given to the vessel in the Chukyo region as part of a study programme on marine uses of biofuels conducted by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism in collaboration with the cargo shipper, Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

The biofuel mix was utilised by the vessel for almost a month while cruising between Mikawa Bay and Tokyo Bay, with no flammability or other issues identified.

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Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME), which is created by the chemical processing of waste cooking oil and methanol, has been the primary raw material for biofuels till now.

In this experiment, leftover cooking oil was reportedly blended with heavy oil A in virtually its original form as straight vegetable oil (SVO) (mixing ratio of Bio was 24 per cent) and utilised in a general-purpose ship type, 499 GT coastal RoRo vessel.

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As SVO does not go through the methyl esterification or hydrogenation processes, it is projected to cut CO2 emissions even more than other biofuels and can be delivered at a cheaper cost.

Biofuel is marketed as a safe, clean alternative fuel that may be utilised without altering the specifications of the vessel’s primary engines, for example.

It has the potential to be a successful method of lowering CO2 emissions, particularly in small coastal RoRo vessels with limited room for tanks and other equipment necessary for other alternative fuels.

This month, MOL and Pyxis Maritime Pte Ltd. (Pyxis) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together on the development and marketing of electric vessels (EVs) in Singapore and Japan.

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