1. What’s the fuel of the future for ships?
Ships burn about 5 million barrels of fossil fuel every day, pumping a constant stream of CO2 and other chemical nasties into the atmosphere. Yet figuring out the fuel of the future isn’t just about emissions. It’s got to have enough power to propel gigantic tankers around the globe, be storable and transportable, and, of course, not too costly. Here’s a list of the front-runners:
• Pros: Doesn’t produce any C02 emissions when made cleanly, which can be done by combining so-called green hydrogen with nitrogen from the air
• Cons: Much less energy dense than traditional fuel oils and so would need about three times as much space to contain the same amount of energy, a problem for ship designers; toxic for humans and aquatic life
• Pros: Is potent enough to send rockets into space and can be produced