MAN ES plans to deliver the first ammonia-fuelled variant of its ME-LGIP engine by 2024 (Image: MAN Energy Solutions)
MAN Energy Solutions is targeting 2024 for the first delivery of a new ammonia-fuelled two-stroke engine, according to a company presentation seen by The Motorship.
The addition of the ammonia-fuelled variant of the MAN B&W ME-LGIP engine to MAN’s product portfolio is dependent upon the successful conclusion of a full-scale engine test, which is scheduled for 2024.
The project will be developed on the 4T50ME-X test engine, which will serve as the platform for the ammonia engine development, at MAN ES’s Research Centre Copenhagen (RCC) facility. The first engine tests are scheduled to begin at the Copenhagen facility in 2021.
MAN ES successfully conducted a preliminary study into ammonia combustibility in 2019: MAN ES’ promotion manager for dual-fuelled engines, René Sejer Laursen, told The Motorship the comparatively slow flame velocity, and slower heat release and combustion characteristics of ammonia were no obstacle to combustion in two-stroke engines in March 2019.
MAN ES launched the development project of an ammonia-fuelled variant of its two-stroke MAN B&W ME-LGIP engine earlier in 2020, when it hosted a hazard identification workshop at its Copenhagen offices.
The development of an ammonia-fuelled engine is seen as one of the potential solutions to decarbonising the fleet, particularly for low carbon ammonia produced from electricity generated by renewable sources, such as wind or solar power. The rapid development in ammonia production technologies was one of the subjects of a white paper released by Hafnia, Alfa Laval, Haldor Topsoe at the beginning of August.
The growth in commercial interest in ammonia as a potential marine fuel (or more accurately energy carrier or vector) has led to a proliferation of research projects in recent months. Some 50 different research projects are currently underway looking into ammonia as a potential vector for reciprocating engines.
The updated ammonia route map for MAN ES notes that the specification of the ammonia supply and auxiliary systems will be undertaken in 2021, while the after-treatment solution will be specified by 2022.