Concept Design Ammonia Carrier C-Job Naval Architects 2

Ammonia Suitable as a Future Marine Fuel

Ammonia can safely and effectively be applied as a marine fuel. Yet, as further research is required to explore its full potential and feasibility, it will not be a short-term solution to reduce harmful emissions in the maritime industry.

This was the conclusion of new research published today (12 June) by C-Job Naval Architects, an independent ship design and engineering company in the Netherlands. 

Search for New Fuels

With the International Maritime Organization's goals to reduce total annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least fifty per cent by 2050 compared to 2008 and eventually fully eliminate harmful emissions, it is of the utmost importance that the global maritime industry looks into renewable fuels like hydrogen, ammonia and methanol.

Ammonia Carrier Fuelled by Cargo

The research conducted by C-Job uses a new concept design, an ammonia carrier fuelled by its own cargo, to study the concept of using ammonia as a marine fuel and achieve a significant reduction in GHG emissions in shipping. It shows ammonia can be used as marine fuel if a number of safety measures are included in the design.    

Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Needs Higher Power Density

Niels de Vries, Lead Naval Architect at C-Job Naval Architects and research lead, said: 'Reviewing all ammonia power generation options, the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) is clearly the most efficient. However, it does have practical challenges, as the power density and load response capability are not on an acceptable level yet. Therefore, in the short term applying the internal combustion engine is the way to go.'

Valuable First Step 

De Vries has been exploring renewable fuels, such as ammonia, for ships for C-Job Naval Architects since 2016 and has now completed several years of research culminating in his Master Thesis "Safe and Effective Application of Ammonia as a Marine Fuel" at the TU Delft. He says: 'While this research is unique in its scope and provides a valuable first step towards the application of ammonia as a marine fuel, further research is still required to explore its full potential and feasibility.'

Ammonia Advocate

C-Job can be said to an ammonia advocate of sorts. For a number of years now, the company has drawn attention to the fact that ammonia could be a viable and promising option as a clean and sustainable marine fuel. In 2017, C-Job established a consortium together with Proton Ventures and Enviu to further investigate ammonia as marine fuel. Last year, C-Job joined the Ammonia Energy Association to intensify collaboration with other industries on this subject. 

With the completion of this theoretical research, C-Job has provided a significant contribution to the first phase of the consortium project, which will now move towards the next phases, which includes lab testing, a pilot and evaluation.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.

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