Following talks with windfarm developer Siemens Gamesa, MAN Energy Solutions plans to develop an ammonia-fuelled two-stroke engine for the marine market.
According to MAN promotion manager for dual-fuelled engines René Laursen, the engine designer will develop its existing ME-LGIP engine – launched last year to burn LPG fuel – to run on ammonia under a project expected to take around two and a half years. The talks with Siemens Gamesa were around ammonia supply and demand.
MAN is working with Japan’s Kyushu University to assess the combustion and heat release characteristics of ammonia. This research will guide the development of software controlling fuel injection, says Mr Laursen. MAN is also working with classification on the use of ammonia on LPG carriers, as the IGC Code currently prohibits the use of toxic substances as fuel. Another research project slated for April will look into ammonia as a marine fuel. Project partners include three, so far unnamed, shipowners.
Ammonia generated by renewable electricity such as wind has no carbon footprint and emits no CO2, SOx or particulate matter when burned in engines. It is expected to find favour in the maritime industry as it does not need cooling, unlike LNG or liquid hydrogen. It also boasts a higher energy density than liquid hydrogen, making it simpler to store in the quantities needed to fuel deepsea ships.