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Title: Holistic life-cycle investigation of alternative fuel – methanol
Authors: Ng, Woon Hwee
Keywords: Engineering::Maritime studies
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Ng, W. H. (2023). Holistic life-cycle investigation of alternative fuel – methanol. Final Year Project (FYP), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Project: MS36
Abstract: Approximately 90% of the world trade volume is transported by sea, and shipping emission is forecasted to increase. In an effort to decarbonise and fight against climate change and global warming, the maritime industry is investigating various types of clean alternative fuels, and one of the options is methanol. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the lifecycle of methanol from an environmental perspective, and whether methanol is a feasible fuel that will be widely adopted in the future. This paper also aims to provide information to maritime stakeholders, enabling them to make prudent decisions prior to any investment in clean fuel. The lifecycle of methanol includes extraction and production, transportation and distribution, storage and consumption, and recycling. To understand the opportunities and challenges faced at the individual stage of the lifecycle, primary and secondary data were collected to ensure the consistency and reliability of the findings. The primary data consist of a survey questionnaire and interview with various maritime stakeholders including Shane, Tiffany, Andreas, and Benjamin. While the secondary data include literature from various sources. Upon analysis of data, the study has found that the whole lifecycle process is not environmentally friendly with its emission during production and transportation, as well as the imbalance of market demand and the supply of raw material and the supply of methanol as fuel. Regardless, the author had identified some opportunities at individual lifecycle stage, whereby is especially significant in the storage and consumption stage. In the event of a methanol spill or slip, there is no impact on the marine environment. Furthermore, consuming methanol emits low GHG, thus minimising environmental effects. For the maritime industry to widely adopt methanol, the author has suggested a few recommendations including investment in technology and infrastructure to resolve supply issues, using green fuel to transport and distribute methanol, as well as proper regulations and enforcement systems in place. Even though the environment is the main reason to push for alternative fuel, regulation is the critical driver pushing for the implementation of green fuel, and it remains uncertain whether methanol will be widely adopted in the future. Nonetheless, the author has stated the limitations that the sample size of the survey respondent is too small, and the 4 interviews conducted cannot represent the whole industry's opinion on using methanol.
Schools: School of Civil and Environmental Engineering 
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:CEE Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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