A powerful group of shipping stakeholders is working to develop demonstrators for ammonia-fueled two-stroke and four-stroke marine engines. The Ammonia 2-4 project aims to develop viable ammonia fuel concepts.
Wärtsilä, a technology company, is leading the project, which includes naval architects C-Job, classification society DNV, ship owner MSC, and Italy’s National Research Council (CNR). The European Union has provided funding of €10 million through the Horizon Europe research funding initiative.
“Ammonia is one of main candidates in shipping’s search for future fuels,” explains Sebastiaan Bleuanus, General Manager, Research Coordination & Funding, Wärtsilä Marine Power. “Wärtsilä has already proven an engine concept running on blends of up to 70% ammonia so far and will have a concept running on pure ammonia by 2023. This project is a fantastic opportunity to accelerate development of the solutions shipping will need.”
By 2025, the project will have produced a lab-based demonstrator for the four-stroke ammonia engine and a lab-based test engine for the two-stroke version, as well as a vessel retrofit for the two-stroke version. The Ammonia 2-4 project will advance engine concepts as well as develop concepts for fuel handling and safety, as well as contribute to the development of an ammonia regulatory framework.
Niels de Vries, Lead Naval Architect at C-Job Naval Architects, said: “Thanks to the project set-up, we’ll be able to show the application of ammonia as a marine fuel for both ships using fuel direct configurations and ships using fuel electric configurations. We’re excited to take this next step and apply our knowledge and experience in Ammonia 2-4 together with our partners.”
“Ammonia as fuel has great potential, especially for deep-sea shipping. Collaborative efforts to put safe, reliable and environmentally friendly engine technology in place are essential for ammonia to enter the fuel mix. We are therefore very pleased to team up with such esteemed partners in this project and look forward to supporting it with our expertise in assessing health, safety and environmental concerns, as well as helping to close regulatory gaps surrounding its use as a marine fuel,” said Hans Anton Tvete, Programme Director Maritime, Group Research and Development, DNV.
Dr Paolo Sementa and Dr Cinzia Tornatore, researchers at CNR’s Institute of Sciences and Technologies for Sustainable Energy and Mobility, said: “CNR will be involved in the activities of Ammonia 2-4 making use of the strong knowhow on internal combustion engines and on alternative fuels. Ammonia is a promising alternative fuel with potential to make a major contribution to the decarbonisation of shipping and to the reduction in greenhouse emissions. For this reason, this ambitious project will represent a milestone in reducing the environmental impact of marine transport sector.”