Traffic&Transportation Journal
Sign In / Sign Up


Methanol and Ethanol as Alternative Fuels for Shipping
Radoslav Radonja, Dragan Bebić, Darko Glujić


Over the past decade regulatory emission control has been adopted and even stricter emission reductions are being considered. In order to comply with the present and future regulations the ship owners and engine manufacturers are facing a difficult task. The shipping industry is presently offering multiple choices such as scrubbers and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), dual fuel engines, Liquefied Natural Gas / Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LNG/LPG) powered engines, and lately the introduction of methanol and ethanol as alternative fuels. This work presents a short overview of the possible use of methanol and ethanol as lternative fuels in shipping. The first part of this work deals with physical properties of methanol and ethanol, production and availability, as well as advantages and disadvantages in comparison with other fuels. In the second part the cost perspective is presented together with the cost-benefit analysis, which is the most important aspect in the ship owner’s decision whether to invest into the new alternative. Methanol and ethanol are not magical solutions, but rather another alternative which, from the cost perspective, offers a potential under certain circumstances. These circumstances are competitive prices in comparison to Marine Gas Oil (MGO) and time spent in Emission Control Area (ECA) which should be a large portion of the total sailing time. In this paper the scientific methodology was followed by using the method of compilation, the descriptive and the comparative methods.


MAN Energy Solutions. Diesel facts. A Technical Customer Magazine of MAN Diesel & Turbo, No. 1/2016. Available from: [Accessed 05/04/2018].

Bromberg L, Cheng WK. Methanol as an alternative transportation fuel in the US: Options for sustainable and/or energy-secure transportation. Cambridge MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology; 2010. Available from: [Accessed 05/04/2018].

LaVigne D. Securing Our Energy Future. Methanol Fuel Blending in Asia Pacific & the Middle East. Singapore International Energy Week, Roundtable F, 30 Oct 2014, Singapore. Available from: [Accessed 05/04/2018].

Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2005;44: 2636-2639. Available from: [Accessed 05/04/2018].

Rathi A. The world’s first “negative emissions” plant has begun operation—turning carbon dioxide into stone. Quartz. Oct 12 2017. Available from: [Accessed 05/04/2018].

RFA – Renewable Fuels Association. Markets & Statistics. Available from: [Accessed 10/04/2018]. [Accessed 05/04/2018].

Ellis J, Tanneberger K. Study on the use of ethyl and methyl alcohol as alternative fuels in shipping. EMSA. SSPA project no. 20157412, 2016. Available from: [Accessed 15/06/2016].

BIX – Bunker Index [Web page]. Available form: [Accessed 05/04/2018].

Methanex [Web Page]. Available from: [Accessed 05/04/2018].

United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service [Web Page]. Available from: [Accessed 05/04/2018].

MAN Energy Solutions. Cost and benefits of alternative fuels for an LR1 product tanker; 2015. Available from: [Accessed 05/07/2016].

Copyright (c) 2023 Radoslav Radonja, Dragan Bebić, Darko Glujić

Published by
University of Zagreb, Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences
Online ISSN
Print ISSN
SCImago Journal & Country Rank
Publons logo
© Traffic&Transportation Journal