BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — As the global maritime shipping industry works to significantly reduce harmful engine emissions, biodiesel is emerging as an effective and sustainable solution.
The United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) aims to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from maritime shipping in half by 2050—on top of limits on marine fuel sulfur content set to take effect in January 2020.
“Urgency is increasing for the global shipping industry to take action. Biodiesel is a viable solution to help reduce the industry’s environmental impact,” says Craig Ratajczyk, Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) chief executive officer.
Ratajczyk says biodiesel is a proven alternative fuel made from soybean oil and other renewable resources. It has low sulfur content, generates less carbon and particulate matter, and is less flammable than petroleum-based fuels.
According to a report from Argonne National Laboratory, Purdue University and the United States Department of Agriculture, biodiesel reduces GHG emissions by 72 percent compared with petroleum diesel fuel. It is being used successfully worldwide to fuel municipal fleets, over-the-road trucking and other diesel-powered equipment, including near-shore vessels and port vehicles.
“Biodiesel has great potential to fuel shipboard operations as well as cargo-moving equipment and trucks in ports,” Ratajczyk says. “Meeting IMO emission-reduction goals will require multiple solutions. We urge the shipping industry to capitalize on the opportunities for biodiesel.”
The ISA checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, issues management analysis, communications and education. Membership and advocacy efforts support Illinois soybean farmer interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C. through the Illinois Soybean Growers. ISA programs are designed to ensure Illinois soy is the highest quality, most dependable, sustainable and competitive in the global marketplace. For more information, visit www.ilsoy.org.
— Illinois Soybean Association
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