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Solid oxide fuel cell project launched to help decarbonise shipping

Photo: Maersk Bo Cerup-Simonsen.jpg
Bo Cerup-Simonsen, ceo of Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping
A joint industry project has been formed to pursue the development of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology to support the maritime industry’s decarbonisation goal.

Alfa Lava, DTU Energy, Haldor Topsoe, Svitzer and the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping are entering into the joint project, named SOFC4Maritime, funded by a grant from Danish EUDP (Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Project).

The SOFC4Maritime will target optimal utilisation of future green fuels via application of SOFCs for power production on ships.

When based on fuels such as ammonia, hydrogen or bio-methane, SOFCs holds potential as a replacement for today’s fossil fuels.

By electrochemically converting fuel into electricity, SOFCs can potentially produce power with higher efficiency than internal combustion engines running on the same fuel – without creating polluting emissions or particulates. Ammonia-based SOFCs are especially attractive, since ammonia can be produced in large scale using renewable electricity and no biomass resource. The research will therefore have ammonia-based SOFCs as its starting point.

Marine supplier Alfa Laval will head the development initiative. Haldor Topsoe will provide the underlying SOFC stack technology, while DTU Energy will support in system layout and component testing. Svitzer will bring a shipowner perspective and the Maersk McKinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping will ensure a broad industry overview, end-to-end analysis of various energy pathways and a detailed techno-economic analysis.

“Addressing shipping’s environmental challenges – and climate change in particular – will require a diverse range of strong technologies. By partnering with fellow marine industry experts, we can investigate the possibilities and bring them to fruition in time to make a difference,” said Sameer Kalra, president, Alfa Laval marine division.

Bo Cerup-Simonsen, ceo of Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, commented: “We are eager to pursue this project, which will provide essential information and enhance the feasibility of future pathways to zero carbon shipping based on SOFCs.”

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