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The technology group W?rtsil? continues to lead the ongoing transformation of the energy and marine sectors towards carbon-free solutions through its future fuel development work

WartsilaTesting will continue throughout the coming years with the aim of defining the most feasible internal combustion engine-based solutions for power plant and marine applications. (Image source: W?rtsil?)

The company is pioneering the adoption of hydrogen and ammonia as viable engine fuels through advanced testing in W?rtsil??s fuel-flexible combustion engines.

Hydrogen and ammonia contain no carbon, meaning the combustion releases no CO2 emissions.Full-scale engine tests have been recently carried out in W?rtsil?'s engine laboratory in Vaasa, Finland, to assess the optimum engine parameters for running on these fuels. The test results are very encouraging, with one test engine performing very well when running on a fuel with 70% ammonia content at a typical marine load range.Tests were also completed successfully on another engine in pure hydrogen operation. 

Testing will continue throughout the coming years with the aim of defining the most feasible internal combustion engine-based solutions for power plant and marine applications, thereby enabling the transition to a decarbonised future with green fuels. 

For the energy market, W?rtsil? expects to have an engine and plant concept for pure hydrogen operation ready by 2025. For the marine market, the company expects to have an engine running on an ammonia blend already this year. W?rtsil? anticipates having an engine concept with pure ammonia fuel in 2023. In the energy sector, it is anticipated that green hydrogen will deliver 7% of the global energy demand by 2050.

H?kan Agnevall, CEO of W?rtsil? said, ?These are milestone moments in W?rtsil??s transition to future fuels. Society will have to invest significant amounts into the infrastructure needed to develop green hydrogen, but those investments require market-ready engines that can run on the fuel once it is readily available. The energy and marine industries are on a decarbonisation journey, and the fuel flexibility of the engines powering these sectors is key to enable the transformation." 

W?rtsil? is also developing ammonia storage and supply systems as part of the?EU?s ShipFC project. The company has already gained significant experience with ammonia from designing cargo handling systems for liquid petroleum gas carrier vessels, many of which are used to transport ammonia. 

W?rtsil??s fuel agnostic approach enables the company to support the energy and marine sectors on how to shape sustainable, and efficient, future fuel strategies in several cost-optimal steps. For example, hydrogen can be used as a fuel in its existing state or as a raw material for producing a wide range of future fuels, including ammonia and synthetic methane, each of which has different benefits for industrial and mobility applications. W?rtsil??s gas engines are highly flexible and are capable of rapidly ramping up or down in power. When wind and solar power vary with weather conditions, W?rtsil? engines can support the power system by ramping up power to meet the required load, reaching full capacity in under two minutes. 

Mikael Wideskog, director of sustainable fuels and decarbonisation at W?rtsil? Marine Power, commented, ?W?rtsil? is united in its aim of limiting climate change to below 2 degrees, and the development of engines capable of running on future fuels is crucial to that. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set a target to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by 50 percent by 2050, compared to 2008 levels. In addition, a target has been set to reduce the carbon intensity of shipping by 40% by 2030, thus emphasising the need for the rapid introduction of existing and new smart technologies. Our successful engine testing will help us to consider a variety of future fuels and determine the optimum use case for each sustainable fuel.?