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Senior Development Expert, Markus Weber, from Switzerland based WinGD has walked away with the top prize award at the Swiss Green Economy Symposium where recent graduates were recognized for advancing the UN’s global Sustainable Development Goals.
Weber received the Sustainable Development Goal award for his recent graduate studies at ZHAW’s Engineering program tested the hypothesis of shipping’s goal to achieve the IMO’s GHG emissions target.
In 2011 the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships, set the goal to halve the greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by 2050 compared to the 2008 baseline figures. Today an estimated 90% of the world’s goods are transported by sea which accounts for approximately 3% of all CO2 emissions.
WinGD recognizes the role it has to play in the energy transition in shipping and has adopted key strategies towards that goal, announcing recently a 30 million CHF investment in future fuel technology research and development.
Weber’s recent award-winning study confirms that WinGD’s alternate fuel strategy is on the right track. Using life cycle assessment, Weber investigated the environmental impact of transporting goods by sea and whether it is possible to achieve a set emission reduction in greenhouse gases within a given period of time. To do this, he analyzed an approach, in which synthetically produced fuels such as ammonia, methane, methanol or hydrogen are produced by renewable energies. His life cycle assessment included not only the fuels and their production, but also the means of transport and their propulsion systems.
His conclusion found that while the suite of alternate fuels being currently tested on WinGD propulsion systems offer clear decarbonisation solutions, the technologies in use today for the manufacturing of these synthetic fuels requires further development to ensure that their environmental impact is minimized. Until that time, the use of methane or LNG (Liiquified Natural Gas) as a marine fuel offers the greatest reduction in emissions today.
“The challenge is to further develop the manufacturing methods and the necessary equipment so that their environmental impact is minimized”, says Markus Weber. “Only then can the reduction of both greenhouse gases and the reduction of overall environmental impact be achieved.”
WinGD’s X-DF low-pressure two-stroke engine technology offers the greatest future fuel flexibility given its commercially proven compatibility with drop-in synthetic fuels such as bio-LNG. By working closely with their customers and leading industry experts, WinGD’s is confident that together they are on track for advancing shipping’s energy transition. Together, Weber and his colleagues at WinGD have developed the technology that is ready for the fuels of tomorrow.