Biodiesel used in coal ship for Tata Steel for Scope 3 emissions reduction - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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Net Zero by Narsi is a series of brief posts by Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi), on decarbonization and climate solutions.
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Here is an example of how intricate and at the same time challenging is the process of industrial decarbonization.

Here is a news item on how Tata Steel is using biofuel for decarbonization.

Now, this looks quite a simple concept, but it is not, and here is why:

We are not talking about Tata Steel using biofuels at its refinery – and I don’t see where there can use it anyway.

We are not even talking about Tata Steel using biofuels to reduce the emissions of steel or iron ore being shipped in or out.

We are talking about biodiesel being used on a ship that carries coal from Australia that will be used at the Tata Steel furnace – an example of a Scope 3 emissions reduction.

While any decarbonization effort is welcome, we should remind ourselves that the emissions from this shipping activity could form a rather small percentage of the total carbon footprint of Tata Steel, a dominant portion of which will be coming from its blast furnace. Ironically, it is the coal being transported in these lower emissions ships that will be resulting in most of the emissions for Tata Steel!

Taking CO2 emissions metrics for ships (16 g/ ton Km), and using the total distance from Gladstone in Oz to Paradip port (10,000 Km), we get the total emissions from shipping for 1 ton of coal to be about 0.16 ton of CO2. With a 20% emissions reductions from the blend (as mentioned in the news report), we get the emissions reduced to 0.04 ton of CO2. Burning 1 ton of coal in a blast furnace will lead to about 1.8 tons of CO2, which is about 45 times as much as the emissions reduced in this exercise!

For those interested, it was a fossil fuel – biodiesel blend, a 24% blend of biodiesel from used cooking oil and 76% VLSFO (very low sulfur furnace oil).


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About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.

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