- Technology - Joint investment in methanol conversion kit

By SuperyachtNews

Joint investment in methanol conversion kit

Designed initially for use on diesel engines up to 1000kw, it shows scalability and promise for fossil-free solutions in the marine industry…

Marine design and engine developer ScandiNAOS AB, Chalmers University of Technology and the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) have launched a project to develop dual-fuel kits for the conversion of new and existing diesel engines to methanol operation.  This announcement is a follow-up to follow up on the successful conversion of the first SMA pilot boat.

The methanol dual-fuel kit is unique since it will be generic and capable for retrofit to a large range of existing diesel engines of different brands. The kit will target engines up to 1000 kW and will accelerate the transition to low-emission fuel and sustainable operations for marine and industrial applications.

The project has a 24-month duration and a budget of SEK8,600,000 with 50 per cent funding by the Swedish program for Strategic Vehicle Research and Innovation, (FFI). Leading methanol producer Proman AG and the Methanol Institute are providing the industrial funding.

The project will see ScandiNAOS develop and implement a dual-fuel kit in a pilot boat owned and operated by the SMA. The SMA already operates a methanol-powered pilot boat equipped with a single fuel compression ignited methanol engine which completed successful trials in December 2021, a conversion supported by the FASTWATER consortium program.

The adoption of dual-fuel kits will enable the conversion of more ships and boats more quickly since a conversion kit can be cost-efficiently applied to existing engines while maintaining the fuel flexibility to run on either methanol, MGO or HVO.

The SMA has a target to remove fossil fuels from its fleet by 2045. Methanol as a fuel for combustion engines provides a number of opportunities for engine optimisation. The Chalmers University of Technology has been assigned a Postdoctoral research position for the duration of the project to develop and test advanced combustion strategies to be applied in the next generation of methanol single and dual-fuel engines.

The pilot boat is expected to be ready for field trials in Q3 2023, a process which will go on for 9-12 months during which the dual-fuel kit will be tuned and optimised based on operational experience and from the results of the research and laboratory tests carried out by Chalmers University.

Bengt Ramne, Manager Director ScandiNAOS AB: “We are excited to get a chance to apply a dual fuel kit on an SMA pilot boat and continue the great cooperation with the Swedish Maritime Administration to reduce the carbon footprint of its fleet.”

Albert Hagander, Technical Manager, Swedish Maritime Administration: “The SMA is glad to be a part of the project that may open a new door towards fossil-free operation.”

Dr Lucien Koopmans, Professor, Head of Division of Energy Conversion and Propulsion Systems, Chalmers University of Technology: “A quick and powerful transition towards a decarbonized transport future starts with the conversion of the existing fleet.”

Peter Schild, Managing Director of Sustainability, Proman: “We are pleased to support this important initiative, which will enable the use of methanol as a cleaner alternative fuel for a broad range of vessel classes. This project means that methanol could be used to affordably reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions across ports and inland waterways in the near term.”

Greg Dolan, CEO of The Methanol Institute: “The Methanol Institute is delighted to be co-sponsoring this project which builds on the successful 2021 trials and will establish a practical process for the conversion to dual-fuel methanol operations safely and at a reasonable cost.”

Source: ScandiNAOS AB & The Methanol Institue

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