C-Job Lead Naval Architect Niels de Vries has won the Maritime Designer Award 2019 for his research on ‘Safe and effective application of ammonia as a marine fuel’. His research shows ammonia (NH3) can be safely and effectively applied as a marine fuel to reduce harmful emissions in the maritime industry.

The Award was awarded during the Maritime Awards Gala on Monday 4 November. The Maritime Designer Award is awarded to individual designers, promovendi, recent graduates and start-ups who want to highlight their work and approach.

 

Ammonia as a marine fuel research

In his Master’s Thesis ‘Safe and effective application of ammonia as a marine fuel’, Niels de Vries uses a new concept design, an ammonia carrier fueled by its own cargo, to study the subject. The research showed that in the long term the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell is the best option in terms of ammonia power generation as it is the most efficient. This application currently has practical challenges as the power density and load response capability are not on an acceptable level yet. In the coming decades this will likely be improved.

In the short term a stepwise implementation could accelerate the application of ammonia as a marine fuel with in the first stage ammonia and marine diesel in an (Compression Ignition) Internal Combustion Engine (ICE). The second stage is an ICE using ammonia hydrogen mixtures followed by the third and final stage an SOFC using ammonia.

Ammonia is free from SOx and particulate matter. Furthermore, if ammonia is made from renewable hydrogen, it will also be free of CO2 in the whole supply-consumption chain. Combined this will be a significant reduction of harmful greenhouse gas emissions in worldwide shipping. Using an ICE at first will require a DeNOx system where the final stage will not as an SOFC can operate on ammonia free of NOx emissions.

Find out more about Niels’ research here.