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Wärtsilä conducts full-scale marine engine tests using hydrogen and ammonia as bunker fuel

15 Jul 2021

Technology group Wärtsilä on Wednesday (14 June) said it has carried out full-scale engine tests in its engine laboratory in Vaasa, Finland, to assess the optimum engine parameters for running hydrogen and ammonia as bunker fuels.

The test results are very encouraging, with one test engine performing very well when running on a fuel with 70% ammonia content at a typical marine load range. Tests were also completed successfully on another engine in pure hydrogen operation, it said.

Testing will continue throughout the coming years with the aim of defining the most feasible internal combustion engine-based solutions for power plant and marine applications, thereby enabling the transition to a decarbonised future with green fuels.

For the energy market, Wärtsilä expects to have an engine and plant concept for pure hydrogen operation ready by 2025. For the marine market, the company expects to have an engine running on an ammonia blend already this year.

Wärtsilä anticipates having an engine concept with pure ammonia fuel in 2023. In the energy sector, it is anticipated that green hydrogen will deliver 7% of the global energy demand by 2050.

“These are milestone moments in Wärtsilä’s transition to future fuels. Society will have to invest significant amounts into the infrastructure needed to develop green hydrogen, but those investments require market-ready engines that can run on the fuel once it is readily available,” said CEO of Wärtsilä Håkan Agnevall.

“The energy and marine industries are on a decarbonisation journey, and the fuel flexibility of the engines powering these sectors is key to enable the transformation.”

Wärtsilä is also developing ammonia storage and supply systems as part of the EU’s ShipFC project. The company has already gained significant experience with ammonia from designing cargo handling systems for liquid petroleum gas carrier vessels, many of which are used to transport ammonia.

In addition, Wärtsilä will begin testing ammonia in a marine four-stroke combustion engine together with customers Knutsen OAS, Repsol Norway and Equinor at the Sustainable Energy Catapult Centre in Stord, Norway, as part of the Demo2000 project.

“Wärtsilä is united in its aim of limiting climate change to below 2 degrees, and the development of engines capable of running on future fuels is crucial to that,” commented Mikael Wideskog, Director of Sustainable Fuels and Decarbonisation at Wärtsilä Marine Power.

“The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set a target to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by 50% by 2050, compared to 2008 levels.

“In addition, a target has been set to reduce the carbon intensity of shipping by 40% by 2030, thus emphasising the need for the rapid introduction of existing and new smart technologies. Our successful engine testing will help us to consider a variety of future fuels and determine the optimum use case for each sustainable fuel.”

 

Photo credit: Wärtsilä Corporation
Published: 15 July, 2021

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