Navigating a greener future: the rise of hydrogen in maritime propulsion

Mitsui brings the revolution to the maritime sector with the transformation of a methane engine into a hydrogen one, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 95% and aiming for zero-emission ships

For decades, ships have been notorious as major polluters of the oceans, but the tide is beginning to turn towards a greener future. Mitsui, a Japanese powerhouse in marine equipment, has taken a groundbreaking step by converting a methane-fueled marine engine into an innovative hydrogen-powered one. The engine, a four-cylinder MAN B&W ME-GI model with a two-stroke cycle, represents a significant advancement in the field.

During an experimental trial, the company successfully used gaseous hydrogen to power one of the four cylinders of the tested engine, which has a bore of 19 in. This engine, capable of generating 7 megawatts of power at 117 revolutions per minute, benefits from a gaseous hydrogen feeding system developed in-house by Mitsui. The system, functioning as a compressor, was designed to deliver high-pressure hydrogen, a project completed last October.

A transformation towards eco-sustainability

The experiment showed remarkable success, demonstrating the converted engine’s excellent operational stability and a 95% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional internal combustion marine engines. This achievement, realized across various loads and operating conditions, also includes progress in achieving 100% hydrogen combustion at full load.

This pioneering experiment not only confirms the feasibility of a revolutionary innovation in the maritime field but also paves the way for the development of zero-emission ships using hydrogen as fuel. This initiative marks the world’s first test of hydrogen combustion in a large-scale two-stroke marine engine, placing Mitsui and its technology partner, MAN ES, at the forefront of the transition towards more sustainable solutions for the maritime sector.

With these advances, Mitsui aims to expand its expertise in the supply, storage, and use of hydrogen as an energy source for marine propulsion, a critical step in an era that demands concrete commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

Source: Mitsui

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