Mountain High, Ocean Deep: Reducing Emissions



Stephen Harrison, Global Head of Specialty Gases & Equipment, Linde Group, Munich, Germany


Carrying as much as 90% of world trade, the international shipping industry is crucial to the intercontinental trade activities that underpin the global economy. It has been estimated that if the growth of the past 150 years in the sector continues as it has, the current 8 billion tonnes of cargo being transported across the globe annually will soar to 23 billion tonnes per year in the next 50 years. However, with the increasing volumes of cargo being transported annually, rising levels of marine emissions such as sulfur oxides (SOx), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), particulate matter (PM) and carbon dioxide (CO2) from the fuel used to power these vessels, are under close scrutiny by world environmental authorities.


While the global shipping industry is currently responsible for only 3% of greenhouse gases, this contribution has prompted significant changes in the legislated control of emissions. For environmental reasons Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and even wind propulsion and nuclear power are occasionally employed to propel commercial shipping, but the majority still use a reciprocating diesel engine as their prime mover, powered by fuel oil, also known as bunker oil…

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