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World’s First Ammonia-Powered Engine- by Japanese Consortium

Here’s an article posted in Riveraam that talks about world’s first Ammonia-powered four-stroke engine achieved by the Japanese consortium.

According to the article,

  • Japanese consortium tests world’s first four-stroke ammonia engine
  • Aims to commercialize vessels with domestically produced ammonia-fueled engines
  • Stable combustion of fuel ammonia with 80% co-firing ratio
  • Successful integration of exhaust gas aftertreatment devices and fuel supply systems
  • Part of Green Innovation Fund Project of NEDO

The development and testing of the world’s first four-stroke ammonia-fuelled marine engine for coastal vessels and tugboats mark a significant advancement in marine propulsion technologies, with a focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Here are some specific data points and informative facts about this groundbreaking project:

  1. Engine Specifications: The engine tested has a 280 mm bore and is a four-stroke type, designed specifically for marine applications. It was tested at IHI Power Systems’ facility in the Ota plant, Gunma Prefecture.
  2. Ammonia Co-Firing Ratio: One of the critical aspects of the engine test was achieving stable combustion with an 80% co-firing ratio of ammonia. This means that ammonia constituted 80% of the fuel mix, which is significant given ammonia’s challenging combustion properties.
  3. Emission Control: The tests confirmed that emissions of di-nitrogen monoxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas approximately 300 times more impactful than CO2, were virtually zero. Additionally, there were no emissions of unburnt ammonia, and no ammonia leakage was detected during operation or after the equipment was shut down.
  4. Consortium and Partnerships: The project involved a consortium of Japanese companies, including IHI Power Systems, NYK Line, Nihon Shipyard Co, Japan Engine Corp, and ClassNK. These organizations are working collaboratively to refine and commercialize this technology.
  5. Demonstration and Testing Timeline: The land-based engine test was completed in April 2023 as part of a demonstration project initiated in October 2021. The goal is to commercialize vessels equipped with domestically produced ammonia-fuelled engines under the Green Innovation Fund Project by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
  6. Future Applications: Following these tests, IHI Power Systems plans to install the engine on a converted tugboat named A-Tug in June 2024. There’s also ongoing development for a smaller 250 mm bore engine for the auxiliary engine of an oceangoing vessel, specifically an ammonia-fuelled ammonia gas carrier scheduled for delivery in October 2026.
  7. Safety and Handling: Ammonia is recognized as a challenging substance to handle due to its toxicity. However, the project participants are tackling these challenges through innovative exhaust gas aftertreatment devices and advanced fuel supply systems to ensure safe and stable operation.

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About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.

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