METHASHIP PROJECT: RENEWABLE METHANOL IS 'FUEL WITH A FUTURE'
Cross-industry research finds key advantages for use of methanol in medium speed marine engines for passenger shipping.
The Methanol Institute has welcomed the findings of the MethaShip research project which has concluded that renewable Methanol offers a long term solution for the industry’s ambitious carbon emission reduction strategy.
The MethaShip partners found that Methanol can offer a dramatic improvement in emissions reduction across multiple ship types once the IMO has established the statutory framework conditions necessary for an industry-wide reduction of CO2 emissions.
"The whole shipping sector is facing major challenges with ever stricter emission regulations for ships, paired with a growing environmental awareness among ship owners and passengers alike.
Some technical and financial details still need to be clarified but in the medium term a breakthrough could be possible with Methanol as a fuel for a holistic reduction of CO2 emissions."
Daniel Sahnen, MethaShip Project Leader, MEYER WERFT.
The research project brought together partners from shipbuilding, classification, engine manufacturing and methanol production to investigate the potential of methanol as a fuel for cruise ships and RoRo passenger ferries. It included development of a potential cruiseship design featuring seven integrated storage tanks made of coated conventional mild steel.
"Methanol is a clear, water-soluble, biodegradable fluid and in contrast to other alternative fuels such as LNG, it offers the crucial advantage of being very easy to handle.
In addition to its potential for long term emissions reduction, the easier storage and transport properties are a strong driver behind the growing interest in using methanol as a fuel for shipping."
Eelco Dekker, Methanol Institute Chief Representative Europe.
The MethaShip research project consortium consisted of the Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, Lloyd’s Register, MEYER WERFT and associate partners Caterpillar, Helm AG and MAN Diesel & Turbo and was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
MethaShip’s key conclusions include:
The properties of Methanol surpass other alternative fuels in shipping
The major benefit is the storage at ambient temperature and ambient pressure without loss
In terms of ship design, Methanol is space-saving, simple and practical with the established advantages of a liquid fuel
Methanol offers compelling environmental properties and has the most promising lifecycle analysis when produced from renewable sources
An already widespread infrastructure and availability could be a key enabler for Methanol