Decarbonising shipping demands the development of power producing engines and equipment operating on non-carbon fuels. Ammonia contains no carbon and is rich in hydrogen, making it a potential energy source assuming it can be produced sustainably and at scale. However, there are significant but not insurmountable technical and safety challenges associated with ammonia as a marine fuel. It is an untried fuel for large engines and presents problems with regard to combustion characteristics and NOx emission control. It is also toxic.
Demonstrating a reliable and safe engine will be a catalyst for scaling up of ‘green’ ammonia production and acceptance by shipowners and builders. Also, new maritime production capacity needs to come on top of existing production of ammonia that is mainly allocated to fertilizers and hence food production.
Developing and demonstrating the ammonia-fuelled engine
DNV is partnering with MAN Energy Solutions, Eltronic Fueltech and Technical University of Denmark on the AEngine project, which aims at making the first two-stroke ammonia powered engine. The project is now moving towards the testing stages and developing emission abatement measures for the control of NOx and N2O.
DNV is handling the safety aspects and will be performing risk assessments with regard to HAZard Identification (HAZID), Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) and Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA). In its role as a classification society, DNV will also be developing regulations on ammonia purging and venting.
MAN Energy Solutions is planning to have an engine ready for commercial use in 2024.