NYK tests out ammonia-fuelled engines

NYK tests out ammonia-fuelled engines

A consortium consisting of NYK Line, IHI Power Systems, Nihon Shipyard, Japan Engine Corporation, and Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) has successfully conducted a land-based test of the world’s first four-stroke ammonia-fuelled engine.

The consortium reportedly achieved stable combustion using fuel ammonia with an 80 per cent co-firing ratio.

This test is part of a demonstration project aimed at commercialising vessels equipped with domestically produced ammonia-fuelled engines.

The initiative, launched in October 2021, is a collaborative effort between NYK, Japan Engine Corporation, IHI Power Systems, and Nihon Shipyard, supported by the Green Innovation Fund Project of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

In April 2023, IHI Power Systems conducted operational tests at its Ota plant in Gunma Prefecture on a 280-millimetre bore four-stroke ammonia-fuelled marine engine designed for coastal vessels, specifically ammonia-fuelled tugboats known as “A-Tug.”

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The recent test focused on ensuring safety while increasing the fuel ammonia mixing ratio within the engine to 80 per cent, reported NYK.

The successful integrated operation of the engine, exhaust gas aftertreatment devices, and fuel supply systems was achieved for the first time.

The test results also revealed negligible emissions of dinitrogen monoxide (N2O) and unburnt ammonia, both of which have significant greenhouse effects. According to NYK, there were no instances of ammonia leakage from any of the demonstration equipment during or after operation.

Moving forward, the consortium plans to conduct further land-based testing to maximise greenhouse gas reductions by optimising the co-firing rate.

The ammonia-fuelled engine will be installed on the A-Tug, set to be completed by June 2024.

NYK additionally reported that efforts will be made to develop a 250-millimetre bore engine for the auxiliary engine of an oceangoing vessel.

This auxiliary engine will be installed on an ammonia-fuelled ammonia gas carrier (AFAGC) scheduled for delivery in October 2026, as part of a joint development project.

Just last month, industry leaders signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to conduct a feasibility study on the potential of green ammonia as a fuel for ships on the US East Coast.

Partners include American Bureau of Shipping, A.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk), Fleet Management Limited, Georgia Ports Authority, Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, Savage Services, Sumitomo Corporation and TOTE Services.

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