Dr Daniel Chatterjee, Director of Technology Management & Regulatory Affairs at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, urged that maritime needs “to commit to a certain path in three to five years time at the latest in order to achieve our overriding goal of making shipping climate-neutral by 2050.”
ccording to Dr Chatterjee “the key enabler for greener shipping is the fuel,” while e-fuels can be converted into propulsion power in ways that are climate-neutra.
Setting the standard for e-fuels
Rolls-Royce noted that it is committed to develop solutions that will achieve its climate targets and focus the efforts on methanol as a key power source for green shipping.
In addition, regarding methanol the company notes that it has a high energy density compared to other sustainable fuels, and its liquid state means it’s easy to store and refuel at ambient temperatures, making use of existing infrastructure.
Onboard, methanol tanks can be arranged flexibly in vessel designs and have significantly lower safety requirements than hydrogen or ammonia. In addition to safety aspects, methanol tank systems are less complex and require a lower investment outlay.
Despite methanol’s positives, Rolls-Royce looks at hydrogen combustion engine for use aboard ferries and tugboats. On typically short, well-defined routes, these vessels are able to refuel frequently and can rely on fuel being available at their next port of call.
Call for political support
According to Rolls-Royce, the huge demand for e-fuels coming from the maritime industry cannot be met before 2030.
While the technology is certainly available, it cannot yet be implemented on an industrial scale and political intervention is needed to enable infrastructure capable of supporting e-fuel ambitions. Advancing this and creating the framework for these fuels to find a market need the support of political decision-makers