Natural gas hydrates (NGH) can be stably stored at a condition of -20°C. Compared to liquefied natural gas (LNG) which stored at a cryogenic temperature of -162°C, technological hurdle is low. For this reason, research and development has been carried out as an alternative to economically utilizing natural gas resources. Natural gas, whose main ingredient is methane, is drawing attention as an eco-friendly fuel due to its low carbon dioxide emissions compared to oil or coal, and low emissions of nitrogen, sulfur oxides and fine dust. However, if natural gas hydrates are used as fuel instead of LNG, the volume and weight of the fuel tank will triple due to low energy storage density. Therefore, it is common to say that it is difficult to use NGH as fuel for ships that need to place cargo holds, engine rooms and fuel tanks within a limited space. In this study, the concept design of the minimum ballast water ship (MIBS) meeting the IMO stability performance criteria was carried out and the systems engineering process basis conceptual design was conducted on the concept of ships replacing the required minimum ballast water with NGH which the fuel for a ship. As a result, technical feasibility of MIBS basis NGH fueled ship has checked but economic feasibility should be convinced in the next study.


Natural gas hydrates (NGHs) are known in the process of studying the clogging of mining pipes in the process of mining natural gas. NGHs can store approximately 180 times the volume of methane gas in an icelike solid. Compared with liquefied natural gas (LNG), the storage efficiency is approximately one-third less. However, while LNG is liquefied at -162 °C, NGHs can maintain equilibrium at -20 °C. Because of its poor storage efficiency but not strict storage conditions, natural gas utilization technology is being developed as an economical alternative to developing small and medium-sized gas fields with less than 3 million tons per year.

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