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Hazard Identification of Hydrogen-Based Alternative Fuels Onboard Ships


It is essential to use alternative fuels if we are to reach the emission reduction targets set by the IMO. Hydrogen carriers are classified as zero-emission, while having a higher energy density (including packing factor) than pure hydrogen. They are often considered as safe alternative fuels. The exact definition of what safety entails is often lacking, both for hydrogen carriers as well as for ship safety. The aim of this study is to review the safety of hydrogen carriers from two perspectives, investigating potential connections between the chemical and maritime approaches to safety. This enables a reasoned consideration between safety aspects and other design drivers in ship design and operation. The hydrogen carriers AB, NaBH4 , KBH4 and two LOHCs (NEC and DBT) are taken into consideration, together with a couple reference fuels (ammonia, methanol and MDO). After the evaluation of chemical properties related to safety and the scope of the current IMO safety framework, it can be concluded that safety remains a vague and non-explicit concept from both perspectives. Therefore, further research is required to prove the safe application of hydrogen carriers onboard ships.

Funding source: This work was supported by the project SH2IPDRIVE, which has received funding from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, RDM regulation, carried out by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RvO) and the project READINESS with project number TWM.BL.019.002 of the research program “Topsector Water and Maritime: the Blue route” which is partly financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).
Related subjects: Safety
Countries: Netherlands

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