UK ‘disruptive’ £5.5m green ammonia study launched

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The ‘Decarbonised Clean Marine: Green Ammonia Thermal Propulsion (MariNH3)’ project will bring together academics from across the UK with regulators, equipment manufacturers, oil companies and other related industries.

Lead researcher Professor Alasdair Cairns, Professor of Propulsion Systems at the University of Nottingham’s School of Engineering, said the project will research fast-burning, ultra-low NOx combustion systems. to meet the challenges of smoldering and high NOx emissions associated with ammonia. as fuel.

“Ammonia is expected to play a key role, but the approach taken by some marine engine manufacturers, which involves dual ammonia fuel, is to replace some of the fuel oil with ammonia as a solution. Typically, up to 40% diesel is still used in these engines, which will impact local pollution and limit opportunities for decarbonization,” Cairn said.

“The vision of the EPSRC MariNH3 program is therefore to study the complete decarbonization of maritime transport emissions through multidisciplinary research focusing on very promising ammonia-fueled disruptive engine concepts, which have the potential to allow a complete decarbonization, while minimizing pollution and final energy demand. “

To overcome the higher absolute minimum ignition energy of ammonia, researchers will seek to improve combustion characteristics through methods such as co-firing with hydrogen, using diesel as a pilot fuel and the use of a jet ignition engine.

The project framework is technology agnostic, Cairns said, and technical work will progress alongside the development of acceptance criteria and policies, so that the technologies and policies produced are “right the first time” and appropriately adapted to the entire maritime sector.

Cairns stressed that an emissions-free future will require a mix of technologies and that there is no silver bullet.

Funding for the project was provided by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) of the United Kingdom. The project will run for five years from June 2022. The project brings together academics from Nottingham, Birmingham, Brighton, Cardiff and STFC. Practical research for the project is carried out at the University of Nottingham’s Powertrain Research Center in the Faculty of Engineering.

Researchers will take advantage of a new Volvo marine-specification compression-ignition engine, a jet-ignition engine and a full suite of Signal Group exhaust gas analyzers to monitor non-ammonia production. burned, NOx, CO2 and CO.

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