Heavy Shipping's Zero-Emission Diesel Successor
For more than half a century, one type of propulsion has dominated on the high seas: diesel electric.
Whether it's moving giant container ships like the 1,300-foot HMM Algeciras, or Royal Caribbean's quarter-million-ton Symphony of the Seas, diesel-electric hybrid propulsion systems provide efficient, reliable torque, with the added convenience of using a fuel that's available just about anywhere man sets foot.
Diesel's benefits over gasoline are dramatic enough, in fact, that they may cause one to question why any of us use the latter.
Diesel lasts longer in storage. It's highly resistant to accidental ignition. Most important of all, it has a higher energy density than gasoline — meaning that at the end of the day, you'll get more stuff from point A to point B using diesel than you would using an equivalent volume of gas.
But one major problem remains: carbon emissions.
No matter what you do, when you're burning fossil fuels, there's just no getting around that pesky problem of carbon dioxide.
And these days, any carbon footprint at all will buy you a one-way ticket to market obsolescence.
Sometimes, this obsolescence is mandated.
In 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) made a commitment to lower overall annual emissions to 50% of 2008 levels by the middle of the 21st century.
This will require a massive overhaul of existing propulsion systems for the bulk of the world's heavy shipping fleets, but thanks to the existence of one long-overlooked fuel, this transition may be surprisingly painless.
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The Fuel of the Next 150 Years
The current heir apparent to diesel's reign is ammonia — a highly stable, safe-to-handle, zero-emission fuel that's been in used widely in specialized applications ranging from road-going automobiles all the way up to the world's fastest ever winged aircraft, NASA's X-15.
Ammonia also brings with it the added benefit of compatibility with existing engine blocks, with only minor modifications necessary to transition a motor from diesel or gasoline to ammonia power.
Again, none of this is exactly news. Since before the X-15's famous flights of the 1960s, Ammonia's power and benefits have been well studied by science and industry.
The problem has always been in its production. Costly and dirty, ammonia was never viewed as a viable contender for the mass-consumption fuel market.
Just a few years ago, however, all of that started to change.
As of this moment, ammonia can be seriously considered by major shipbuilders like Equinor, Man Energy Solutions, and Wärtsilä thanks to a technological innovation making production possible with nothing invested beyond electricity, water, and air.
Using this state-of-the-art production method, ammonia can be created with no impact to the environment and used to power both the ship and its electrical systems through the same electric-hybrid system that current diesel electrics employ.
The only byproduct of the entire cycle is water vapor.
From the Sea... Right Into Your Driveway
This technology, when employed on a mass scale, has the potential to go well beyond the maritime industry.
Ammonia can offer these very same benefits for your car and for everything else you see on today's roads. The magnitude of the market that this revolution could touch is almost too big to calculate.
But somewhere between $3 trillion and $5 trillion per year might be a good place to start, if we're just talking about the global fossil fuel industry.
You'd think that a technology with this kind of disruptive power behind it would already be the property of some tech-minded giant like Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), but it's not.
Earlier this year, a Canadian tech company valued at less than $100 million completely reorganized its operations to pursue a singular goal: to bring this technology to the mass market.
Just a few weeks ago, final agreements for the technology's acquisition were finally signed.
The company is already public. Its shares trade on two North American exchanges. Since its reorganization earlier this year, share prices have already jumped more than 60%.
So the story is heating up.
I recently published an in-depth research report that details this technology, the company that owns it, and the implications for the market.
I rushed it out to my readers before the story started to pick up steam, and today I'm giving everyone else a chance to see the report as well.
It may be one of the most important documents you read this year, so don't waste another minute.
Access is free and instant.
Fortune favors the bold,
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