German-based engine manufacture MAN Energy Solutions has begun the ‘AmmoniaMot’ project to produce a dual-fuel, medium-speed engine capable of running on diesel fuel and ammonia.

Initiated by MAN, ‘AmmoniaMot’ stands for Ammonia Engine in German, and it gathers industry partners and research institutes including the University of Munich, Neptun Ship Design, WTZ, and Woodward L’Orange. It is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi).

  • The University of Munich is to employ a rapid-compression expansion machine to establish the fundamentals regarding the combustion of ammonia and will develop the combustion models necessary for fast adaption of the technology to different engine sizes.
  • Neptun Ship Design is to analyse international regulations to ensure technical and safety requirements in an encapsulated, modularised fuel system. Such scalable components are a prerequisite for the introduction of ammonia engines in shipping. It will work with MAN on a roadmap regarding the use of ammonia engines with all necessary ancillary systems in new ships and conversions.
  • WTZ is to utilise a high-speed test engine to develop a combustion concept for the new engine.
  • Woodward L’Orange is to produce the injection system for the ammonia tests at TUM and WTZ. Together with MAN, the technology will be scaled up to large, four-stroke engines in the project.
  • MAN Energy Solutions will transfer the technology to large-bore, four-stroke engines and prepare for commercial development and production.

The project is due to run for three years from December 2020.

MAN Energy Solutions Alexander Knafl, head of R&D, four-stroke engineering, Augsburg, said: “MAN Energy Solutions views this project as closely aligned with its own strategy for developing sustainable technologies and welcomes the opportunity to work with external partners. For us, the path to decarbonising the maritime economy starts with fuel-decarbonisation and, in this context, ammonia is an excellent candidate in that it is carbon-free and eminently green when produced from renewable electricity sources.”

Christian Kunkel, head of combustion development, four-stroke R&D, MAN Energy Solutions, said: “With the DNV classification society forecasting approximately a 30% share of the maritime fuel market for ammonia by 2050, there is a general need for successful engine projects to display ammonia’s viability. There is little doubt but that ammonia will become an important carbon-free energy carrier and thus will contribute to decarbonising the maritime sector. The AmmoniaMot project will deliver the base for future, commercial, four-stroke engines, which will be key in legitimising ammonia as a fuel and furthering the maritime energy transition.”

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