Reducing Environmental Impact

The IMO adopted the target to halve Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping by 2050 compared to 2008. 

Important efforts such as strengthening the energy efficiency design index (EEDI), introducing new technologies like hybridisation and adding sustainable assisting energy sources like wind and solar energy will be critical in reaching this target. But it won’t be enough.

Changes must be made to the fuel used for ship propulsion. Moving away from today’s high-carbon fossil fuels to carbon-lighter LNG can reduce CO2 emissions by about 30% using WinGD X-DF engines. 

Approaching 2050, fossil LNG will need to be replaced gradually by non-fossil, Bio-LNG and LNG from CO2 neutral “power to energy” factories using solar and wind power. 

More potential solutions may arise but the internal combustion engine, as the main source of propulsion power for merchant shipping, will continue to play a major role beyond 2050. 

When comparing the GHG performance of X-DF engines running on LNG with propulsion systems running on residual fuels, two aspects must be considered:

  1. LNG emits 30% less CO2 during combustion while methane (CH4) also forms part of the total hydrocarbon (THC) emissions and is a significant GHG. 
  2. Every combustion engine has unburned THC emissions. Unburned methane (CH4), from the gas supply to the engine, forms part of the THC or methane emissions which is often referred to as “methane slip”. 

The weighted average THC emission from an X-DF engine is very low at 2.0 g/kWh to 3.0 g/kWh (based on engine size with cylinder bore 72cm to 50cm) making it the best in its class. 

While the “methane slip” of X-DF engines is between 1.6 g/kWh and 2.4 g/kWh, the total GHG balance is still a reduction of 15-20%, a clear improvement over conventional diesel engines. WinGD’s R&D department is heavily invested in innovative technologies to reduce all emissions for a carbon-neutral future.