Safety Risks of Ammonia as a Shipping Fuel: Study Findings and Recommendations

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Lloyd’s Register Maritime Decarbonization Hub and the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping have conducted a study on the safety risks of using ammonia as a shipping fuel. The study, titled “Recommendations for Design and Operation of Ammonia-Fuelled Vessels based on Multi-disciplinary Risk Analysis,” focused on the potential risks to a ship’s crew. The researchers evaluated different storage systems for a container ship, tanker, and bulker, including fully refrigerated, semi-refrigerated, and fully pressurized systems. They used an iterative approach to risk assessment and found that dividing the fuel preparation room into three separate spaces on a semi-refrigerated tanker reduced the individual risk by 56% compared to a base case.

Ammonia is considered a promising alternative fuel for the shipping industry due to its potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, its use comes with safety concerns, as ammonia is toxic and can pose risks to crew members onboard. This study aimed to identify and evaluate these risks in order to provide recommendations for the design and operation of ammonia-fueled vessels.

The researchers concluded that the arrangement of the fuel preparation room on a semi-refrigerated tanker significantly reduced the risk to engineering ratings. This finding highlights the importance of proper design and safety measures in minimizing the risks associated with ammonia as a shipping fuel. The study’s recommendations can help inform future developments in the use of ammonia as a sustainable fuel option for the maritime industry.

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