Project Title

Alternative Fuels Usage in Maritime Transportation System

Collaborating Universities

Marshall University
One John Marshall Drive
Huntington, WV 25755

University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716

Principal Investigator(s)

Jennifer Shand (MU) - Email:
James Corbett (UD) - Email:

Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization)

US DOT: $62,191 (Federal)
MU: $27,500 (Match)
UD: $34,696 (Match)

Total Project Costs

$62,191 Federal/$62,196 Match

Agency ID or Contract Number


Start Date


Completion Date



The project will consist of two major components:

  1. An engineering analysis of vessel characteristics (led by University of Delaware), and
  2. A market assessment of the potential technology, infrastructure and regulatory conditions (led by Marshall University)

The engineering analysis will provide the basis for understanding demand considerations such as volume of fuel, capital investments required for conversion, and necessary savings for feasibility of alternative fuel use.

The market analysis will further inform conditions either inhibiting or facilitating market development for alternative fuels, and will employ a survey of key stakeholders, a scan of relevant state and federal policies and regulations, and appropriate case studies from Europe where LNG/CNG adoption has taken place.



Potential Implementation

The goals of the project are:
1.  Characterize the demand for alternative fuels in maritime shipping (led by University of
Delaware), which includes assessing
o Fleet volume o technological and engineering requirements for vehicle conversion
o Environmental impacts of vessel conversation such as emissions
2.  Characterize the market structure for alternative fuels (led by Marshall University),
o Infrastructure for transport, storage and fueling
o Regulatory and policy considerations
3.  Disseminate findings on the potential for LNG in inland river commercial navigation.
o Produce a joint report and associated published peer-reviewed journal article(s)
o Share findings in academic and/or industry centered conference venues
o Identify further research needs and potential support for next stages of analysis
4.  Support strategic and timely fleet conversion to alternative fuel usage where merited


Expected benefits and impacts

The project will inform the feasibility of implementing alternative fuels within Region 3 for
maritime shipping, highlighting barriers to adoption and potential solutions. The collaboration
and networking with regional maritime sector and energy providers will engage a broad set of
stakeholders in discussions of innovation in alternative fuels for waterborne and intermodal
freight service.

Web Links to Reports and to the Project website