C-Job Naval Architects’ continuing investigations into the subject of using ammonia as a ship’s fuel took an important step forward last month with the publishing of new research by Niels de Vries, one of the company’s Lead Naval Architects.
The research is the culmination of Niels’ Master’s Thesis ‘Safe and effective application of ammonia as a marine fuel’. It uses a new concept design, an ammonia carrier fueled by its own cargo, to study the subject.
The results show that ammonia can be used as a marine fuel if a number of safety measures are included in the design. “Reviewing all ammonia power generation options, the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell is clearly the most efficient,” Niels says.
C-Job has increased its R&D investment into renewable fuels considerably in recent years. This is not only building a strong foundation of in-house knowledge, but also creating worthwhile partnerships with organisations involved with future-proof fuels. The company’s participation in the Ammonia Energy Association is just one example of this.
A consortium that C-Job established together with Proton Ventures and Enviu in 2017 is another important example. The completion of Niels’ theoretical research marks a crucial contribution to the first phase of this consortium. The project will now enter the next phases, which include lab testing, pilot project and evaluation.
“While this research is unique in its scope and provides a valuable first step towards the application of ammonia as a marine fuel, additional research is still required to explore its full potential and feasibility,” Niels explains.
Keeping other options open
Using ammonia as a marine fuel would result in a significant reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping activities. Considering the International Maritime Organization’s GHG reduction goals to cut emissions by at least 50% by 2050 (compared to 2008), ammonia is proving itself to be one of the most feasible alternatives available. C-Job is also researching other renewable fuel options including methanol.