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Alternative options

Alternative options

Besides a switch to LNG there are also other options for complying with regulations on fuel sulphur content and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions reduction.


In the case of SOx other mitigating measures are use of exhaust gas scrubbers and use of marine gas oil (MGO). The main alternative options to mitigate NOx emissions are Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR).


Overview of main options to reduce NOx and SOx emissions
  LNG Scrubber MGO (0,1% S) SCR EGR
NOx 85-90% reduction 10-20% reduction -- 90-99% reduction 20-85%
SOx ~100% reduction ~100% reduction 95% reduction -- --
PM ~100% reduction 80-85% reduction 80% reduction 25-40% reduction --
CO2 20% reduction (ignoring methane slip) Slight increase due to additional fuel consumption Increase of upstream emissions (refinery) Slight increase due to additional fuel consumption --


As an alternative to LNG, use of methanol as a ship fuel has also attracted attention. The Gothenburg-based shipping operator Stena Line and the local port authority are testing methanol produced from natural gas. According to Stena Line, exhaust emissions of SOx, PM and NOx are equivalent to those of LNG, but converting vessels to run on methanol would be considerably less expensive and complicated than converting to LNG.

Further reading

85-100% less pollutants

LNG as a shipping fuel can help significantly reduce the environmental impacts of maritime transport, most likely without increasing costs. With this fuel, NOx, SOx and particulate emissions can be reduced by 85-100% in comparison with HFO.