The Potential Role of Ammonia as Marine Fuel-Based on Energy Systems Modeling and Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis
Journal article, 2020

To reduce the climate impact of shipping, the introduction of alternative fuels is required. There is a range of different marine fuel options but ammonia, a potential zero carbon fuel, has recently received a lot of attention. The purpose of this paper is to assess the prospects for ammonia as a future fuel for the shipping sector in relation to other marine fuels. The assessment is based on a synthesis of knowledge in combination with: (i) energy systems modeling including the cost-effectiveness of ammonia as marine fuel in relation to other fuels for reaching global climate targets; and (ii) a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) approach ranking marine fuel options while considering estimated fuel performance and the importance of criteria based on maritime stakeholder preferences. In the long-term and to reach global GHG reduction, the energy systems modeled indicate that the use of hydrogen represents a more cost-effective marine fuel option than ammonia. However, in the MCDA covering more aspects, we find that ammonia may be almost as interesting for shipping related stakeholders as hydrogen and various biomass-based fuels. Ammonia may to some extent be an interesting future marine fuel option, but many issues remain to be solved before large-scale introduction.

greenhouse gas emission targets


multi-criteria decision making




alternative fuels



Julia Hansson

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Maritime Studies

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

Selma Brynolf

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Maritime Studies

Erik Fridell

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

Mariliis Lehtveer

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology


20711050 (eISSN)

Vol. 12 8 3265

Subject Categories

Other Environmental Engineering


Energy Systems



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8/4/2020 1