Containership cuts GHG emissions by utilizing artificial pure fuel

Written by

Nick Blenkey

ElbBLUE bunkered some 20 tons of inexperienced SNG (artificial pure fuel) on the Elbe port in Brunsbüttel, Germany

By working on a mix of artificial pure fuel (SNG) and LNG, the 1,036-TEU containership, ElbBLUE has lowered its greenhouse fuel (GHG) emissions by 27% in comparison with utilizing LNG alone. In contrast with heavy gasoline oil (HFO), the discount in GHG emissions was as excessive as 34%.

MAN Vitality Options stories that this information has emerged from measurements initially carried out on board the ship in September 2021 when the ElbBLUE— the previous Wes Amelie — turned the primary containership worldwide to exchange a portion of its bunkered fuel gasoline (round 50%) with SNG.

“With this undertaking, we now have confirmed the technical viability of our idea of the maritime vitality transition,” stated Dr Uwe Lauber, CEO of MAN Vitality Options. “Right now, greater than ever, we’re satisfied that climate-neutral, artificial fuels level the way in which to inexperienced delivery – and even additional past.”


“The present, international, political state of affairs underscores the long run position that artificial fuels can play in a diversified vitality provide in that they level the way in which towards much less dependence on uncooked materials deposits, suppliers and value fluctuations.” famous Lauber. “Because of the army assault on Ukraine in violation of worldwide legislation, LNG costs, for instance, have risen massively in latest weeks and at the moment are at an analogous degree to artificial pure fuel. If manufacturing capability will be constructed up shortly and artificial fuels made accessible to the market, SNG might change into a climate-friendly and – in the long run – economical various to fossil fuels in delivery.”


“With this pilot undertaking, we now have confirmed that any LNG-powered ship can even function with inexperienced SNG from power-to-X,” stated Stefan Eefting, senior vice chairman and head of MAN PrimeServ Augsburg. “Even with a mix of simply 50% SNG, GHG and pollutant emissions are considerably lowered. When operated completely on SNG, we might anticipate a discount of not less than 80% in GHG emissions for contemporary ships.”

Gasoline operation additionally drastically reduces different polluting emissions in comparison with HFO. Within the case of the ElbBLUE, nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) dropped by nearly 87%, whereas emissions of sulfur oxides (SOx) and particulates had been nearly fully eradicated (~99%). These values had been achieved in each the unique operation on LNG and on a mix of LNG and SNG.

Measurements had been carried out on a voyage between Brunsbüttel, Germany and Rotterdam, the Netherlands with artificial pure fuel comprising roughly 50% of the bunkered fuel at 85% engine load. The ElbBLUE is powered by an MAN 51/60DF four-stroke engine. As a multi-fuel engine, the unit permits operation with both HFO or liquid pure fuel (LNG) as gasoline. The ship’s test-run proved that the latter will be changed by SNG with out engine modification.


Owned by German delivery firm, Elbdeich, and operated by charterer, Unifeeder, the 1,036-TEU container ship, ElbBLUE, sails the North and Baltic Seas. It made headlines again in 2017 below its former identify, Wes Amelie, when its MAN 8L48/60B principal engine was transformed to the present MAN 8L51/60DF four-stroke unit, which permits dual-fuel operation with fuel. This was the world’s first conversion of a containership to multi-fuel operation with LNG.

In September 2021, the ship reached one other milestone on the highway to climate-neutral delivery when, within the Elbe port of Brunsbüttel, it turned the world’s first containership to bunker climate-neutral artificial marine gasoline – some 20 tons. The liquefied SNG was produced in a power-to-gas plant operated by kiwi AG in Werlte, Germany and generated from 100% renewable vitality.


Artificial pure fuel is taken into account a carbon-neutral gasoline as its combustion releases solely as a lot CO2 as captured throughout its manufacturing utilizing power-to-X expertise. Nevertheless, similar to LNG, SNG consists largely of methane (CH4) and, throughout operation, small unburned portions of the fuel can escape – so-called methane slip. Methane is taken into account a greenhouse fuel that, when launched unburned into the ambiance, is 28 occasions extra dangerous to the local weather than CO2. MAN already affords options for methane-slip-free operation in two-stroke engines. For four-stroke engines, the corporate is engaged on numerous options to additional cut back the escape of methane from the combustion chamber.

“Now we have already been in a position to halve methane slip in our dual-fuel, four-stroke engines in recent times by inside engine measures, and we see additional potential within the space of exhaust fuel after-treatment,” says Eefting. “We’re presently creating particular oxidation catalysts with which we now have been in a position to cut back methane slip by an extra 70% in laboratory exams. Subsequent 12 months, we are going to check the catalyst on board a ship for the primary time and anticipate to have a market-ready expertise by 2025.”

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