CNL research to support marine sector decarbonisation

27 October 2020

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) has been awarded a contract by Transport Canada to develop an assessment tool to examine clean technologies that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the release of other pollutants from marine vessels. CNL scientists will also examine different technologies that can be used for the production, storage and handling of hydrogen for marine vessels.

Shipping off Vancouver (Image: Pixabay)

The three-year project, funded by Transport Canada's Innovation Centre, will focus on developing CNL's Marine-Zero Fuel (MaZeF) Assessment Tool to analyse the energy ecosystem within the marine industry. It will help identify opportunities for Canadian operators to transition to clean energy technologies, such as hydrogen, and away from traditional forms of fuel that are contributing to marine pollution and climate change, CNL said. Once complete, the assessment tool will be applicable to national and international marine operations.

“As a leader in nuclear science and technology, and research in hydrogen production, storage and safety, CNL has a deep understanding of clean energy technologies and their applications," CNL President and CEO Joe McBrearty said. "We look forward to applying this expertise to the marine industry, and help Canada continue to protect the environment and fight climate change.”

The research will also focus on expanding the MaZeF tool to include feasibility and business considerations, safety regulations and life-cycle analysis, enabling analysis of the use of hydrogen technologies for port-side operations, such as fork lifts, cranes and transportation vehicles.

"Around the world and across Canada, governments and industries are working to enact policy and investment decisions to help reduce carbon emissions and slow the rate of climate change," said CNL Vice President of Science and Technology Jeff Griffin. "Hydrogen has the potential to play a major role." CNL's extensive expertise, technologies and facilities including its state-of-the-art hydrogen research laboratory puts the organisation in a "great position" to lead the work in collaboration with Transport Canada, he added.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) - the United Nations specialised agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships - in 2018 adopted an initial strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships under which it aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, and eventually to eliminate them completely.

The government of Canada is working with the IMO and international partners to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and Canadian Minister of Transport Marc Garneau said the government is committed to investing in innovative and clean technologies that reduce the impacts of shipping on the marine environment.

"Through Transport Canada’s Clean Marine Funding Program, we are supporting projects that help reduce air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions in the marine sector. Our partnership with Canadian companies like Canadian Nuclear Laboratories will not only advance these green technologies but also protect Canada’s marine environment for generations to come," he said.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News