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Marine biofuels

DS NORDEN enters biofuel collaboration

DS NORDEN enters biofuel collaboration
Dampskibsselskabet NORDEN A/S (DS NORDEN) has entered into a partnership with compatriot Kvasir Technologies (Kvasir) to collaborate on the testing and development of the next generation of marine biofuels. DS NORDEN will test the fuel produced by Kvasir on its vessels and thereby help validate the potential (photo courtesy DS NORDEN).

Denmark-headed independent shipping company Dampskibsselskabet NORDEN A/S (DS NORDEN) has announced that it has entered into a partnership with compatriot Kvasir Technologies (Kvasir), a spinout from the Technical University of Denmark, to collaborate on the testing and development of the next generation of marine biofuels.

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Kvasir has developed a new process that can turn non-edible biomass into a carbon dioxide (CO2) neutral marine biofuel.

DS NORDEN will test the fuel produced by Kvasir on its vessels and thereby help validate the potential.

At DS NORDEN, we want to drive the shipping industry towards a cleaner future. If we are to truly make a difference, testing fuel alternatives is the right starting point, said Henrik Røjel, Fuel Efficiency and Decarbonisation Manager at DS NORDEN.

The fuel can be produced at the massive scale needed by the shipping sector, as the biomass is abundantly available.

This is a gamechanger for the shipping industry as the currently available biofuels are based on used cooking oil (UCO) and other very limited resources.

The collaboration with Kvasir is highly welcomed, both as part of our aim to be a front runner in the decarbonization agenda and because companies thinking outside the box is a necessity in the process of finding the solutions of tomorrow, Henrik Røjel said.

Utilizing lignin

There are a number of ways to convert biomass to liquid fuels. Kvasir Technologies focuses on transforming the part of biomass known as lignin and using it in fuel production.

Lignin is often seen as a waste product, discarded without being used, yet easily accessible and found in large quantities, allowing for a high degree of scalability compared to other feedstocks.

According to Kvasir, its technology stands out as it is, unlike most other technologies, able to convert not only cellulose but also lignin into a liquid biofuel product.

Single-step solvothermal liquefaction

Kvasir Technologies laboratory
A spin-out of the Technical University of Denmark, Kvasir Technologies has developed a proprietary single-step lignocellulosic conversion technology to bio-oil (photo courtesy Kvasir).

The single-step biofuel conversion process is called solvothermal liquefaction. It is the only process that can fully convert lignocellulosic biomass to produce next-generation marine biofuel.

The process is among the most efficient in liquefying solid biomass. According to Kvasir, more than 80 percent of the combustible energy originally contained in the biomass is retained in the bio-oil.

This coupled with a feedstock agnostic input makes the process scalable enough to cover global marine fuel demand four times over.

This project will demonstrate the suitability of our biofuel as bunkers and further accelerate the technological development, said Joachim Bachmann Nielsen, CEO of Kvasir Technologies.

Change needs to happen now

DS NORDEN’s interest in a partnership of this nature comes as a result of the company’s ever-growing wish to make shipping more sustainable.

Finding better and greener alternatives to fossil fuel is thus highly prioritized within the company, which is already experienced in the testing of biofuel.

In September 2018, DS NORDEN became the first ever to conduct a test voyage on a large ocean-going vessel powered by CO2-neutral biofuel.

DS NORDEN wants to be a front runner in this phase of experimentation and help gather intelligence that will hopefully make a positive impact on greenhouse gas emissions and help the industry reach the ambitious goal for 2050 set by the International Maritime Organisation, said Henrik Røjel.

A fully backed collaboration

A full-scale test of Kvasir’s fuel will be conducted on one of NORDEN’s vessels at a later stage during the 3.5-year collaboration, where the purpose is to achieve a better knowledge of the characteristics of biofuel and prove its suitability for future use.

NORDEN will continuously share its insights into the handling of vessels and what properties the fuel must have in order to be a viable and functioning option.

In the effort to be a front runner, DS NORDEN is assisting in the testing and development of biofuel on owned vessels while working on making biofuel a standard on the company’s long-term chartered vessels, Henrik Røjel said.

A ShippingLab initiative

The biofuel collaboration between NORDEN and Kvasir Technologies is part of ShippingLab – a joint industry initiative aimed at developing Danish competencies in the fields of digitalization, autonomous shipping, and environment-friendly technology.

ShippingLab is supported by Innovation Fund Denmark, the Danish Maritime Fund, Orient’s Fund, and Lauritzen Fonden.

Denmark is rightfully perceived as a leading nation in shipping and the development of green technologies, and the collaboration between NORDEN and Kvasir Technologies is an excellent example of this, which we are very happy to support, commented Magnus Gary, Project Director at ShippingLab.

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