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  • European Maritime Safety Agency

European Maritime Safety Agency publishes Part 1 of study on safe bunkering with biofuels

Image: The European Maritime Safety Agency

As the maritime industry moves towards greater sustainability, biofuels have emerged as a possible option for decarbonizing the deep-sea sector of the global fleet.


However, even though neat biofuel and biofuel blends are currently bunkered in shipping, the safety aspects of these fuels have not been widely studied or understood.


In 2022, the European Maritime Safety Agency released an updated study on the potential of biofuels in shipping, which identified a selection of biofuels as the most promising for maritime operations.


These biofuels include:

  • Biomethanol

  • Biobased Fischer-Tropsch diesel

  • Biobased dimethyl ether (DME)

  • Hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), also referred to as renewable diesel

  • Fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), also known as biodiesel, and relevant blends


Now, EMSA has published the first part of a study on the safety aspect of bunkering with biofuels, providing a comprehensive analysis of a preselection of biofuels in terms of safety aspects like flashpoint, toxicity and cold-flow properties, among others.


The study looks at how those aspects can raise safety concerns during bunkering operations in a preliminary hazard identification (HAZID).


The study also examines practices in other industries that may be applicable to the maritime sector and reviews the status of development of regulations for maritime use, specifically considering conventional bunkering arrangements.


Forthcoming reports in this series will build on the conclusions of HAZID workshops to draw up a guidance and safety checklists for the bunkering of these fuels, including comparison with conventional fuels.


To download the first part of the study, click here.


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