Wartsila, the Finnish technology group has been undertaking tests which will likely contribute to developing ammonia as a new fuel.
With the marine sector being a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, there is much talk in the global yachting and superyacht market about the development of potential new fuels such as hydrogen, LNG or ammonia.
If Wartsila are successful with using ammonia as a fuel, it will have the ability to underpin a lowering of greenhouse gas emissions in vessel operation as it will be a carbon-free fuel.
In these initial tests, Wartsila has undertook combustion trials using ammonia as part of a development programme which will enable the use of ammonia as a fuel that can contribute to reducing both the shipping’s and energy sectors’ greenhouse gas emissions. As part of the development programme, ammonia was injected into a combustion research unit to better understand its properties.
Depending on the result, further tests will be carried out using both dual-fuel and spark-ignited gas engines. These will be followed by field tests in collaboration with vessel owners from 2022. Leading superyacht builders, especially in Germany and the Netherlands, are among those that have shown interest in gaining knowledge and experience of new fuels that might be used to propel superyachts in the future.
As a carbon-free fuel, the development of ammonia as a marine power source holds promise to help meet the IMO (International Maritime Organisation)’s ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the maritime sector by at least 50% by 2050. While superyachts are a small part of this overall initiative, yacht owners, designers and builders plus technology business like Wartsila, are increasingly aware of the challenge meeting such a target represents. (Printed from IBI Plus e-news)