engine room in a ship

Project: Assessment of impacts on occupational safety and health when choosing marine fuels

This project studies how the working environment and the indoor air quality on board a ship is affected when vessels operate on various types of fuels.

Project information

Project manager
Cecilia Österman
Other project members
Sarka Langer, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Sweden
Bo Strandberg, Lund University, Sweden
Participating organizations
IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute and Lund University, Sweden
Stiftelsen Sveriges Sjömanshus
1 Febr 2018–31 Jan 2021
Maritime Science (Kalmar Maritime Academy, Faculty of Technology)

More about the project

More stringent regulations to reduce harmful air emissions from ships have resulted in major changes for the shipping industry. To reduce emissions of pollutants, vessels can either operate on cleaner fuels, such as marine diesel or gas oil, LNG, or methanol; or install scrubbers to clean the exhaust gases after the combustion. These measures have reduced the emissions of sulphur emissions into the ambient air but also of other air pollutants, such as particles, soot and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).

The choice of ship fuel for propulsion and auxiliary machinery affects the ship's working environment and thus the health, safety, and well-being of seafarers. It also affects working conditions and tasks related to the operation and maintenance of the vessel, as well as the risk of occupational accidents and ill-health.

In short, this project aims to explore the following issues:

  • How is the indoor air quality affected using various types of ship fuels, and how are the working conditions affected by these options?
  • Are some fuel options better, worse or the same for the environment, work environment and financial performance than others?

The objective is to design useful decision support based on an overall assessment in order to be able to make informed decisions about appropriate choice of marine fuel and technology. The results will be applicable to all types of vessels and be relevant to Swedish and international shipping.

The project is part of the research in the Maritime Science research group.