The methanol fuel cell technology provides a green alternative to the maritime sector addressing the worldwide focus on cutting down CO2 emission and reducing air pollution.
Enabling a green maritime sector
A methanol fuel cell system enables a truly green operation within the maritime sector providing net-zero carbon emission and zero particle outlet.
The methanol fuel cell is a flexible power solution that can be used for auxiliary power or propulsion depending on ship type and customer needs. Due to its flexible form, the system is adaptable in regards to space availability and placement on the ship.
The fuel cell technology is applicable for both smaller gensets as well as larger auxiliary power units in the megawatt range.
Fuel cells to make a difference for the maritime sector
With a cutting-edge technology platform based on high-temperature PEM technology, the Blue World Technologies methanol fuel cells provide a strong alternative to conventional gensets and auxiliary power units for marine usage.
Depending on ship type and available space, the fuel cell system can be in a cubic shape similar to a conventional motor block or in a flat pack configuration. Both can be stacked according to the required power output. Regardless of system size, the fuel cell system enables new opportunities for placement of the power unit onboard the ship ensuring optimal space utilisation.
The HT PEM methanol fuel cells are combined with methanol-reforming ensuring a simple system design with high energy conversion, efficiency, and system power density.
As the fuel cells have no moving parts, system maintenance is significantly reduced, and preventive maintenance is very low and limited to air filter change and basic inspections. The modularity of Blue World Technologies’ fuel cell system enables optimised redundancy while advanced monitoring ensures a predictive operation.
Benefits for the market
With a worldwide focus on finding alternative power solutions for the maritime industry the methanol fuel cell technology provides multiple benefits making the technology a strong candidate.
Sailing on methanol
Methanol is already an existing and widely recognised fuel within the maritime industry, and when running on methanol produced from renewable sources, the operation is CO2 neutral from a well-to-wheel perspective. Additionally, the methanol fuel cells eliminate NOx, SOx, and particle emissions ensuring an environmentally friendly operation.
As a liquid fuel at atmospheric pressure, methanol is a fuel that is simple to handle and can be stored in large volume. Compared to alternatives, such as batteries and hydrogen, methanol has the advantage of the fuel storage density being much higher. Methanol is already widely available in the majority of the largest ports around the world making methanol a strong candidate as an alternative to fossil fuels.
Increasing methanol activities
Earlier in 2021, Alfa Laval announced that they began large-scale testing of methanol as a marine fuel and later a collaboration with Blue World Technologies on methanol fuel cells was announced. The project aims to establish a highly efficient and cost-effective HTPEM fuel cell solution, giving marine vessels a realistic alternative to combustion-based auxiliary power within the near future. Besides Alfa Laval and Blue World, the vessel owners DFDS, Maersk Drilling, and Hafnia are also partners in the project as they are looking into the opportunities of using methanol as a marine fuel.
As the interest in methanol within the maritime sector is growing, the number of activities increases worldwide. Click on the link below to see the renewable methanol map displaying activities from around the world.
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