Decarbonisation Across Industries: A Brief Guide


Decarbonisation has become a pivotal focus for various industries as they strive to reduce their carbon footprints and combat climate change. Let us delve into decarbonisation in the shipping industry, the steel industry, and the oil and gas industry, exploring the strategies and challenges associated with each sector. Understanding these efforts is crucial for appreciating the broader landscape of industrial decarbonisation and recognising the steps necessary to achieve a more sustainable future.

Decarbonisation in the Shipping Industry

The shipping industry, a cornerstone of global trade, has long been a significant contributor to carbon emissions. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set ambitious targets to reduce these emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels. Achieving this goal necessitates substantial changes in how ships are powered and operated.

One primary method of decarbonising shipping involves transitioning from traditional fossil fuels to alternative energy sources. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) has emerged as a popular alternative due to its lower carbon content. However, the ultimate goal is to adopt zero-emission fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia. These fuels, though promising, require significant advancements in technology and infrastructure to become viable options.

Another critical aspect of decarbonisation in the shipping industry is improving energy efficiency. Innovations such as wind-assisted propulsion, air lubrication systems, and hull design improvements can significantly reduce fuel consumption. Additionally, digitalisation and real-time data analytics enable more efficient route planning and fleet management, further decreasing emissions.

Decarbonisation in the Steel Industry

The steel industry is another major emitter of carbon dioxide, largely due to its reliance on coal in the blast furnace process. Decarbonising the steel industry involves both technological innovations and changes in raw material usage.

One promising approach is the use of hydrogen instead of coke in the reduction process. Hydrogen-based steelmaking can potentially eliminate carbon emissions from the production process. This method, known as direct reduced iron (DRI) production, is currently being piloted in various parts of the world. The scalability of this technology is a key factor in its potential success.

Another strategy involves increasing the use of scrap steel in production. Recycling scrap steel significantly reduces the need for raw materials and energy, leading to lower carbon emissions. Electric arc furnaces (EAFs), which primarily use scrap steel, produce significantly less CO2 compared to traditional blast furnaces. Expanding the use of EAFs and improving scrap collection and processing can contribute to the industry’s decarbonisation goals.

The development and adoption of carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) technologies also play a crucial role. CCUS can capture CO2 emissions from steel plants and either store them underground or utilise them in other industrial processes. Combining CCUS with other strategies for decarbonisation in the steel industry can accelerate the reduction of carbon emissions in the steel industry.

Decarbonisation in the Oil and Gas Industry

The oil and gas industry faces a unique challenge in decarbonisation due to its role as both a producer and consumer of fossil fuels. Despite this, the industry has initiated several strategies to reduce its carbon footprint.

One significant effort is the transition towards cleaner energy sources. Many oil and gas companies are investing in renewable energy projects, such as wind, solar, and biofuels. This diversification not only helps reduce emissions but also positions these companies as key players in the energy transition.

Improving operational efficiency is another critical aspect. Advanced technologies such as digital twins, predictive maintenance, and automation can enhance operational efficiency and reduce emissions. For instance, optimising drilling operations and reducing flaring can significantly lower the carbon intensity of oil and gas production.

Additionally, the development and deployment of CCUS technologies are essential for the oil and gas industry. CCUS can capture CO2 emissions from upstream and downstream operations, preventing them from entering the atmosphere. The industry can reduce emissions and improve oil extraction efficiency by integrating CCUS with enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques.


Decarbonisation is a complex but necessary journey for the shipping, steel, and oil and gas industries. Each sector faces unique challenges and opportunities, requiring tailored strategies and technological innovations. As these industries continue to evolve, their efforts in reducing carbon emissions will play a crucial role in achieving global sustainability goals.

For further insights and expert guidance on decarbonisation in the steel, oil, and gas industries, visit SepPure to learn more about how we can support your journey towards a greener future.

Louis Jones

Greg Jones: Greg's blog posts are known for their clear and concise coverage of economic and financial news. With a background as a financial journalist, he offers readers valuable insights into the complexities of the global economy.