Partners kick off MeOHmare marine e-methanol engine project

By Julian Buckley30 March 2023

MeOHmare e-methanol marine engine project launch celebration (Photo: Rolls-Royce)

Rolls-Royce, Woodward L’Orange and WTZ Rosslau have confirmed that they will start development of a high-speed internal combustion engine for marine applications that uses CO2-neutral green methanol as fuel.

Known as ‘MeOHmare’, the joint project has received €8 million in funding from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection.

Dr. Daniel Chatterjee, who is responsible for Technology Strategy and Sustainability at alliance coordinator Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said: “We are grateful for the funding and are convinced that this this experienced alliance of engine manufacturer, injection system supplier and research institute, we will successfully get the methanol engine on the water.”

Using methanol produced using the power-to-X process, which essentially uses electricity from renewable sources (wind, solar, etc.) to produce a green e-fuel, it is possible to electrolyse hydrogen from water. This H2 can then be processed into e-methanol by adding CO2 from the air.

The marine methanol engine concept will be based on a mtu Series 4000 which will be designed to use the e-methanol fuel. Reduced climate and environmental impact are key goals, as is the highest possible power density.

Mathias Muller, project manager at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, explained: “The focus on development activities is on redesigning the combustion process with fuel system, turbocharging and engine control, as well as all fuel-interacting engine subsystems.”

The non-profit research institute Wissenschaftlich-Technisches Zentrum Rosslau, will have responsibility for setting up a methanol engine endurance test rig, to prove out injection components and developing a methanol feed pump.

The concept for the high-speed IC marine methanol engine is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2025.

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