Alfa Laval starts testing methanol fuel cell systems for sustainable marine power supply

Source: press release, 19 April 2021

Methanol delivery to the Test & Training Centre (photo: Alfa Laval)
Methanol delivery to the Test & Training Centre (photo: Alfa Laval)

Alfa Laval – a global provider heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling solutions – will start testing an innovative marine fuel cell system in corporation with Blue World Technologies and some major players in the marine industry. Testing will take place at the Alfa Laval Test & Training Centre in Denmark. It will use methanol as fuel and explore the technology’s potential as a source of marine fossil-free auxiliary power systems. The goal is to contribute to the industry’s transition towards decarbonisation.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) targets a 50% reduction of vessel-related greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To meet the long-term target of decarbonisation, the industry must shift towards new fuel types and technologies.

The project is a joint effort between Alfa Laval and the fuel cell maker Blue World Technologies, together with DFDS, Maersk Drilling and Hafnia. The aim is to develop, test and verify a highly efficient fuel cell solution that would give marine vessels a realistic alternative to combustion-based auxiliary power in the near future. The fuel cell system will use renewable, carbon-neutral methanol as fuel, enabling clean operations with very limited emissions. Methanol is one of the most promising fossil-free fuels available. The test period is expected to be completed within 1 year.

“We believe that fuel cell systems will have a larger role to play in the future X-to-Power landscape. However, there are a number of potential fuel (X) pathways, so we need to have a broad perspective on this area,” says Sameer Kalra, President of the Marine Division. “This collaboration includes major partners who each bring in unique expertise, and is another example of Alfa Laval’s commitment to develop viable and sustainable X- to-Power solutions for our customers.”