Hydrogen's progress as a marine fuel
A review of projects shows hydrogen is slowly gaining traction as an alternative #fuel in the #maritime industry with projects to deliver hydrogen from production to the #port, for use in #vessels.
In July 2021, DNV published a report on the key takeaways of the DNV-led MarHySafe project, which is a consortium* of 26 companies and associations looking at hydrogen as a #MarineFuel or as an enabler for synthetic fuels.
The report recognised the concerns around the safety of handling, storing and bunkering hydrogen, in particular the thresholds of when explosions can occur.
Familiarity and experience of handling other gases such as natural gas are useful, but a different approach is required when dealing with hydrogen, a very light atom, whose properties include making metals brittle.
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On the plus side, hydrogen can be used in internal combustion engines in pure gas form, or as a liquid in ammonia (ammonia-ready newbuildings are on the rise), but the cleanest form of hydrogen-based energy is from fuel cells, which makes hydrogen useful as a range-extender for coastal vessels powered by batteries. Using hydrogen in fuel cells presents an energy loss compared with combustion, states the DNV report.
Given these issues, projects to deliver hydrogen as a marine fuel have to undergo the Alternative Design process, which the DNV report noted, “The process is in line with SOLAS Chapter II-2 and is described in the IMO Guidelines for the Approval of Alternatives and Equivalents (MSC.1/Circ. 1455). The approval is evaluated in line with the goals and functional requirements of the International Code of Safety for Ship Using Gases or Other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code, Part A).
One of the biggest challenges for any new or alternative marine fuel is having a robust and reliable supply chain and infrastructure to deliver the fuel to the vessel.
#Hydrogen in port: As mentioned, one solution is to carry hydrogen in a liquid. LOHC Logistix, an equal share joint venture between global storage operator Vopak and Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies has developed LOHC technology, which uses benzyl toluene as a liquid organic hydrogen carrier. This project is one that could solve the issue of ‘last-mile’ delivery of hydrogen.
Another port development is hydrogen as a future fuel for harbour and coastal tugboats, with applications coming in Europe and Singapore, according to Navtek Naval Technologies’ advanced engineering, research and development manager, Mustafa Sargin, who introduced the company’s Hydrotug design at Riviera Maritime Media’s annual Maritime Hybrid, Electric & Hydrogen Fuel Cells Conference in Bergen, Norway in October 2022.
Starting operation in 2023, it is a 4,100-kW tug developed by CMB.Tech and operated by the Port of Antwerp-Bruges. As the tug vessel’s first port of call, Ostend was chosen because of the port’s hydrogen bunkering facilities, built for CMB.Tech’s Hydrocat 48 hydrogen-powered crew transfer vessel.
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Hydrogen from offshore wind: GASCADE and Fluxys have applied to the European Commission for Project of Common Interest status for the AquaDuctus project, which is a plan to produce green hydrogen using offshore wind and transport it by pipeline to shore.
Hydrogen fuel cells at sea: What is believed to be the first commercial hydrogen fuel cell passenger ferry in the world is the 21-m, 75-passenger, zero-emissions, hydrogen fuel-cell powered, electric-drive ferry Sea Change. Sea Change is owned by SWITCH Maritime, will operate in the California Bay Area and has been built by All American Marine.
Bulk delivery of hydrogen by sea: April 2022 saw the completion of the world’s first international maritime transport of liquefied hydrogen, which was celebrated during a recent ceremony at Kobe LH2 Terminal in Kobe, Japan. The 9,000-km voyage between Australia and Japan was undertaken by the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier Suiso Frontier, to demonstrate the viability of long-distance maritime transport of liquefied hydrogen.
South Korea is working on a project to transport liquid hydrogen from Darwin, Australia. This project involves the planned export of liquid hydrogen by large-scale tanker to South Korea from Darwin in the Northern Territory. LATTICE Technology has secured a grant from the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning to develop a standardised liquid hydrogen export production and storage terminal in Australia and a liquid hydrogen import storage terminal in South Korea,
In May 2022, C-Job Naval Architects announced a design of a liquid hydrogen tanker developed in partnership with LH2 Europe, which aims to use the abundant renewable electricity in Scotland to produce green hydrogen and market it at a competitive price with diesel. The new tanker will transport the liquid hydrogen to terminals in Germany, with a strategic vision to expand supply to other markets as demand increases.
Source: Riviera mm