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Wärtsilä: Testing Ammonia and Hydrogen for Carbon-Free Solutions

Testing new fuels for marine applications, Wärtsilä has announced that it expects to have an engine running on ammonia blend later this year and a pure ammonia-fueled engine by 2023.

According to a press release, the technology group at Wärtsilä is working on the transformation of the energy and marine sectors towards carbon-free solutions. While, ammonia is seen as a viable marine fuel alternative, hydrogen concepts are being developed for the energy sector. Both fuels will run on the company’s fuel-flexible combustion engines.

Hydrogen and ammonia contain no carbon, meaning the combustion does not release any CO2 emissions, the company said.

Current testing is focused on assessing the optimum engine parameters for these fuels. One test engine was described as running very well on fuel with 70 percent ammonia content at a typical marine load range.

Wärtsilä is also developing ammonia storage and supply systems as part of the EU’s ShipFC project and will begin testing ammonia in a marine four-stroke engine together with customers in a research project in Norway.

In terms of alternative fuels, Wärtsilä said its engines can currently run on natural gas, biogas, synthetic methane or hydrogen blends up to 25 percent hydrogen.

Photo: Full-scale tests are being carried out by Wärtsilä’s engine lab team in Vaasa to assess the optimum engine parameters for running on hydrogen and ammonia fuels.

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