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Rolls Royce, Svitzer paper concludes seeing strong long-term benefits in single-fuel methanol engines

26 May 2023

Svitzer, the global towage operator and part of A.P. Moller-Maersk, and marine propulsion system manufacturer Rolls-Royce on Tuesday (23 May) jointly released a paper exploring the use of methanol in a series of single- and dual-fuel engine concepts to discuss the way forward and identify the operational requirements needed to realise fully carbon neutral towage services.

“To bring more clarity into the discussion about which of these concepts is optimal for potential operators of methanol high-speed engine, and to define a sound basis on which a decision for design prioritisation of such an engine concept can be made, Rolls-Royce Power Solutions (RRPS) has investigated several dual fuel concepts, which are described in the paper,” the authors said in the paper. 

In conclusion of the paper titled ‘Methanol engines: single fuel versus dual-fuel’, Svitzer and RRPS both are convinced that methanol will play a big role in the decarbonisation of shipping. 

However, many factors are not given at the moment, such as the availability of green methanol. This makes it hard to take investment decisions as the future is not clear. 

“To avoid stranded assets it is essential to either source fuel in advance or choose equipment which allows for fuel flexibility, such as dual-fuel engines,” according to the paper. 

“However dual-fuel engines are a compromise which will not be the best option when the situation arises that green methanol becomes widely available and price competitive.”

“Therefore, we see strong benefits in single fuel engines in the long term to provide completely CO2 neutral equipment and simpler vessel designs.”

Svitzer said methanol is set to become a future low-carbon fuel of choice in the decarbonisation of shipping. 

“This includes the transition of tugboats and global towage services from marine gas oil and conventional diesel engines to sustainable fuels and engine concepts.”

The paper said it is possible to design and manufacture methanol combustion engines in either a single-fuel or dual-fuel concept (in conjunction with diesel), both having some advantages and disadvantages. 

Note: The full version of the paper titled ‘Methanol engines: single fuel versus dual-fuel’ can be found here


Photo credit: Venti Views on Unsplash
Published: 26 May, 2023

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