A new research project aimed at reducing pollutants and greenhouse gases produced by shipping will see a German consortium develop a fuel cell system to provide alternative power generation on ships.
The system would improve the efficiency of the plants and
prevent emissions even when fossil fuels are used – both in berth operations in
ports and inland waterways and on the high seas, the consortium parties, led by
thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH, said.
Diesel fuel and gas oils are used for electricity and heat
resulting in pollutant emissions, such as soot and nitrogen oxides, while
additionally polluting the air quality of inner cities, especially in the
In order to solve this problem, the “MultiSchIBZ” project
would develop two prototypes of fuel cell systems suitable for practical use to
The system is based on SOFC fuel cells which can be operated
with low-sulphur diesel fuel or liquefied natural gas (LNG) as an energy
source. A fuel gas generator converts the fossil fuel into a hydrogen-rich gas
for operating the fuel cells. Compared with conventional propulsion systems
using marine diesel as fuel, project participants expect the system to reduce
emissions by 99 % for nitrogen oxides and particulate matter and by more than
25 % for carbon dioxide.
For the development of the technical components, the results
and plants from two predecessor projects can be used. The aim is to optimize
the existing components, which have already been tested in the laboratory, to
further develop them for operation with LNG and to scale them up for the
construction and operation of pilot plants with higher outputs.
thyssenkrupp Marine Systems will be working with OWI
Oel-Waerme-Institut and TEC4FUELS on the system development.
After the development phase, a demonstration phase is
planned in the project, in which several fuel cell APU’s will be tested on
ships in real operation.