July 04, 2020

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Lubrizol joins shipping’s zero emissions ambition
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Photo of Simon Tarrant (left) and Ian Brown (right) courtesy of Lubrizol

The Lubrizol Corporation has become the first lubricant additive technology supplier to join the Getting to Zero Coalition. An international group currently endorsed by 14 governments and composed of more than 100 organizations, it aims to drive the development of commercially viable, zero-emissions deep-sea ships by 2030. This partnership between the Global Maritime Forum, the World Economic Forum and Friends of Ocean Action boasts leading ship owners, ports, technology providers and fuel companies as well as academic and research institutions.

Lubrizol brings a wealth of experience in lubricant and fuel research. It recently analyzed IMO 2020-compliant very low sulphur fuel oil blends to develop a robust cylinder oil additive package to handle the widely varying properties of these fuels.

“Joining the Getting to Zero Coalition is an opportunity for Lubrizol to contribute to one of the most important challenges of our time,” says Simon Tarrant, business manager – large engines, Lubrizol. “It is also a chance to align with forward-thinking industry stakeholders to gain some insight into the engine and fuel solution challenges of the future.”

The coalition has chosen 2030 as its target date because most ships after that date will still be sailing in 2050, by which time global regulator the International Maritime Organization hopes to at least decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping by half. To fulfil that vision, a big proportion of the fleet will need to operate on low- or zero-carbon fuels.

New fuels and enhanced engine design will bring new operating condition challenges. For example, while today’s lubricants must counter the corrosion caused by sulphuric acid in cylinders—the result of sulphur in fuel—new fuels will form different acids. New lubricant formulations will therefore be needed to tackle any challenges that arise.

“We are talking with engine manufacturers to understand the challenges that new fuels might bring. This will help us to evaluate the type of additive chemistry required in the future. But to gain more understanding we need in-service testing, which depends on the availability of ships operating on the relevant fuels,” said Ian Bown, technical manager – marine diesel engine oils, Lubrizol.

Lubrizol’s wider approach to sustainability aims to reduce both the environmental impact of making its products and the impact of the products themselves. It takes a lifecycle analysis approach to sustainability decisions in order to identify genuine opportunities to reduce its impact and prevent shifting the environmental burden from one product, process or phase to another.

“We are excited about the important work the coalition is doing and look forward to working together to help the shipping industry achieve its emissions goals by 2030,” says Tarrant.

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