Issue 2, 2021

Challenges in the use of hydrogen for maritime applications


Maritime shipping is a key factor that enables the global economy, however the pressure it exerts on the environment is increasing rapidly. In order to reduce the emissions of harmful greenhouse gasses, the search is on for alternative fuels for the maritime shipping industry. In this work the usefulness of hydrogen and hydrogen carriers is being investigated as a fuel for sea going ships. Due to the low volumetric energy density of hydrogen under standard conditions, the need for efficient storage of this fuel is high. Key processes in the use of hydrogen are discussed, starting with the production of hydrogen from fossil and renewable sources. The focus of this review is different storage methods, and in this work we discuss the storage of hydrogen at high pressure, in liquefied form at cryogenic temperatures and bound to liquid or solid-state carriers. In this work a theoretical introduction to different hydrogen storage methods precedes an analysis of the energy-efficiency and practical storage density of the carriers. In the final section the major challenges and hurdles for the development of hydrogen storage for the maritime industry are discussed. The most likely challenges will be the development of a new bunkering infrastructure and suitable monitoring of the safety to ensure safe operation of these hydrogen carriers on board the ship.

Graphical abstract: Challenges in the use of hydrogen for maritime applications

Article information

Article type
Review Article
15 May 2020
08 Dec 2020
First published
07 Jan 2021
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Energy Environ. Sci., 2021,14, 815-843

Challenges in the use of hydrogen for maritime applications

L. Van Hoecke, L. Laffineur, R. Campe, P. Perreault, S. W. Verbruggen and S. Lenaerts, Energy Environ. Sci., 2021, 14, 815 DOI: 10.1039/D0EE01545H

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