Currently they run on heavy fuel oil – a substance that is more reminiscent of tar than vehicle fuel. It’s the residue that remains after various crude oil distillation processes have been carried out. While the more volatile fractions such as ke
rosene, gasoline, diesel and household fuel oil are separated off for other uses, the large, robust two-stroke engines of ocean-going giants make do with the leftover black sludge which is so viscous it needs to be heated up before it can be combusted. The changeover to fuels like liquefied natural gas, LNG, has already begun but this in itself won’t be enough. That’s why an increasing number of industry players are looking to hydrogen and are now making initial attempts to embed this fueling option in seagoing vessels.