Consortium to develop medium-speed ammonia engine

By Mike Brezonick07 April 2021

MAN Energy Solutions announced the beginning of its ‘AmmoniaMot’ (Ammonia Engine in German) project. Initiated by MAN with partners from industry and research institutes, it aims to define the steps necessary to produce a dual-fuel, medium-speed engine capable of running on diesel fuel and ammonia.

AmmoniaMot logo

Supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), and due to run for three years from December 2020, project partners include the University of Munich, Neptun Ship Design, WTZ and Woodward L’Orange.

“MAN Energy Solutions views this project as closely aligned with its own strategy for developing sustainable technologies and welcomes the opportunity to work with external partners,” said MAN Energy Solutions Dr. Alexander Knafl, head of R&D, Four-Stroke Engineering at MAN in Augsburg. “For us, the path to decarbonizing the maritime economy starts with fuel-decarbonization and, in this context, ammonia is an excellent candidate in that it is carbon-free and eminently green when produced from renewable electricity sources.”

MAN Energy Solutions Two-Stroke Business has already announced that it will deliver ammonia-fueled engines by 2024.

Christian Kunkel, Head of Combustion Development, Four-Stroke R&D, MAN Energy Solutions, said: “With the DNV classification society forecasting approximately a 30% share of the maritime fuel market for ammonia by 2050, there is a general need for successful engine projects to display ammonia’s viability. There is little doubt but that ammonia will become an important carbon-free energy carrier and thus will contribute to decarbonising the maritime sector. The AmmoniaMot project will deliver the base for future, commercial, four-stroke engines, which will be key in legitimising ammonia as a fuel and furthering the maritime energy transition.”

Partner roles

The University of Munich (TUM) will employ a rapid-compression expansion machine to establish the fundamentals concerning the combustion of ammonia and will develop, together with MAN, the combustion models necessary for fast adaption of the technology to different engine sizes.

Neptun Ship Design (NSD) will analyze international regulations to ensure technical and safety requirements in a encapsulated, modularized fuel system. Such scalable components are a prerequisite for the introduction of ammonia engines in shipping. A prototype of the fuel system itself will be used on the test engine at WTZ. NSD will work in close cooperation with MAN on a roadmap regarding which steps are necessary to use ammonia engines with all necessary ancillary systems in new ships and conversions.

WTZ is a specialist within the field of energy conversion and will utilize a high-speed test engine to develop a combustion concept for the new engine. This will be done in close collaboration with MAN and will also form the basis for defining any requirements for exhaust gas aftertreatment.

Woodward L’Orange, a global manufacturer of injection systems, will produce the injection system for the ammonia tests at TUM and WTZ. Together with MAN, the technology will be scaled up to large, four-stroke engines in the project.

MAN Energy Solutions said it will transfer the technology to large-bore, four-stroke engines and prepare for commercial development and production.

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