TU Delft: Bio-ethanol as an alternative fuel for vessels | 2023

Many fuels are currently considered for reducing the emissions in shipping; methanol, LNG, ammonia, nuclear, biodiesel, etc. However, bio-ethanol is not considered at all.

This research looked into all aspects of ethanol in a comparison with its most closely related alternative methanol, using a similar approach as found in earlier comparisons, though updating the data as well as the application to vessels relevant for Dutch ship owners. This research identified that 2nd generation bio-ethanol would in price be close to 2nd generation bio-methanol, but with several technical advantages. Furthermore, the bio-ethanol production capacity is far larger than that of any of the other alternative fuels for shipping and with the ongoing electrification of cars, this capacity will most likely be looking for a new market in the future, putting pressure on the price. Hence the report calls for further investigations and reconsiderations of bio-ethanol as a marine fuel.