Wärtsilä expects to have an engine running on an ammonia-blended fuel later this year, and an engine concept based on pure ammonia operation in 2023. The company has revealed recent progress on new fuels as it continues to work on the development of both ammonia and hydrogen tested in fuel-flexible combustion engines.
“Very encouraging” full-scale tests have been completed recently at the company’s engine laboratory in Vaasa, Finland. The tests were designed to establish the optimum engine parameters for using these fuels, Wärtsilä said. One test engine performed well when operating on a fuel containing 70% ammonia, and another engine was successfully tested while operating on pure hydrogen.
In the power sector, Wärtsilä expects to have an engine and plant concept based on hydrogen operation ready by 2025. The company expects that green hydrogen will meet 7% of global energy demand by mid-century.
“These are milestone moments in Wärtsilä’s transition to future fuels,” declared the company’s CEO, Håkan Agnevall. “Society will have to invest significant amounts into the infrastructure needed to develop green hydrogen, but these investments require market-ready engines that can run on the fuel once it is readily available. The energy and marine industries are on a decarbonisation journey, and the fuel flexibility of the engines powering these sectors is key to enable the transformation.”
The company has adopted a fuel-agnostic strategy and its engines can now operate on natural gas, biogas, synthetic methane, or hydrogen blends containing up to 25% hydrogen. Wärtsilä’s next-generation engines will be designed to switch to future fuels, the company said, thereby future-proofing customers’ assets.
Wärtsilä expects ammonia-blend engine later this year