Projecttitel: CLEAN SHIPPING
Projectnummer: BBE 2002
Looptijd: 2020 – 2024
Budget publiek: € 675.000
Budget privaat: € 225.000
Projectleider: Lotte Asveld
Betrokken partijen: TU Delft, Boskalis, BIONDOIL Netherlands, Biomass Research, HiLux, GoodFuels, VARO Energy

Maritime transport industry is the most important vein connecting world’s commercial activities. 80% of all goods worldwide are transported by ship (UNCTAD, 2015), making it one of the most energy intensive and carbon emitting industry. Unlike short-distance road transport segment for which alternative energy sources already exist (e.g. electric and fuel cells vehicles), the maritime shipping segment has only one viable alternative in the foreseeable future for cleaner and renewable energy, i.e. biofuels. Maritime biofuels have the potential to significantly help to reduce worldwide emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and air pollutants (e.g. NO2 and SO2), decrease resources depletion, and support local development through the bioeconomy.

The successful development and commercialization of maritime biofuels require to overcome several technical, social and institutional challenges which should be first understood and then addressed by interdisciplinary and complementary teams looking at such challenges from different perspectives (societal, industry and academia) and from all relevant sectors. Hence, the main research question of this proposal is: “How to develop supply chains concepts for large-scale production of drop-in shipping biofuels from waste biomass, via thermochemical processes, while ensuring sustainable, beneficial local effects at the biomass production sites and considering the capacities, values, skills and knowledge of all actors involved in the proposed value chains?”

In the technical challenge, we will develop HTL processes that meet the shipping industry’s quality requirements. Furthermore, conceptual design of processes and supply chains will be combined with methods for techno-economic evaluation and environmental life cycle assessment (LCA). For the social challenge, we will develop secure and sustainable supply chains that fully consider the needs, knowledge, skills and values of all relevant actors, with special attention to actors at the beginning (biomass producers) and at the end of the chain. To do so, we will implement methods from Responsible Research and Innovation, in particular building up on the principles of Value Sensitive Design (VSD). Additionally, we will develop locally tailored solutions based on the concept of so-called Biohubs in which design principles (technical and VSD-based) are integrated and adapted to local conditions. To achieve this, we will build on insights from theories on social learning for sustainability and on expertise of the partners. Lastly, for the institutional challenge we will develop assessment methods and monitoring schemes for the social and environmental sustainability of the value chains and the associated technologies and biofuels. To this purpose we will combine methods of Responsible Innovation with Constructive Life Cycle Assessment, which is a highly novel approach in the design of biomass conversion systems.