Environmental-economic sustainability of hydrogen and ammonia fuels for short sea shipping operations

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Alternative fuels of low or zero carbon content can decarbonise the shipping operations. This study aims at assessing the lifetime environmental-economic sustainability of ammonia and hydrogen, as alternatives to diesel fuel for short sea shipping cargo vessels. A model is employed to calculate key performance indicators representing the lifetime financial sustainability and environmental footprint of the case ship using a realistic operating profile and considering several scenarios with different diesel substitution rates. Scenarios meeting the carbon emissions reduction targets set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for 2030 are identified, whereas policy measures for their implementation including the emissions taxation are discussed. The derived results demonstrate that the future implementation of carbon emissions taxation in the ranges of 136–965 €/t for hydrogen and 356–2647 €/t for ammonia can support these fuels financial sustainability in shipping. This study provides insights for adopting zero-carbon fuels, and as such impacts the de-risking of shipping decarbonisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1070-1080
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Early online date14 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2024


  • ammonia
  • hydrogen
  • lifetime economic-environmental sustainability
  • policy measures
  • emission taxation
  • short sea shipping
  • maritime industry


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