The research concluded that there are no obstacles to the efficient use of Methanol in a converted diesel engine and that smaller vessel conversion projects are feasible and cost-effective, with levels of safety that easily meet existing requirements.
Switching to Methanol would offer immediate environmental benefits, including close to zero SOx and particulate matter emissions and significantly lower NOx emissions compared to conventional marine fuels or biodiesel.
Joanne Ellis, Project Manager for SSPA which led the research says the partners sought to build on the work already done in earlier research projects that resulted in the Stena Lines and Waterfront Shipping methanol dual-fuel vessels, using a vessel type that could use Methanol in a converted single-fuel engine.
Topic areas of the project’s final reports include the technical feasibility of converting vessels to propulsion using Methanol, the resulting environmental performance, bunkering issues and fuel supply now and in the future. The research programme was conducted by SSPA, ScandiNAOS, Marine Benchmark, Lund University, the Swedish Transport Administration Road Ferries, Scania, SMTF and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
SUMMETH also concluded that there are no barriers to bunkering the ferries, since this is already carried out by truck and could easily be switched from diesel to Methanol, enabling the ferry operator to immediately reduce particulate emissions and progressively reduce carbon emissions as renewable methanol becomes available.
“These are encouraging results which reinforce our view that Methanol provides one of the simplest, most efficient and cost-effective ways for the industry to comply with 2020 regulations and future CO2 emissions limits,” adds Chris Chatterton, Chief Operating Officer of the Methanol Institute. “The reductions not just in SOx and NOx but also PM will offer immediate environmental benefits, with the potential for Biomethanol to be progressively blended into the mix as more becomes available.”
SUMMETH was supported by the MARTEC II network and co-funded by the Swedish Maritime Administration, Region Vastra Gotaland, Oiltanking and the Methanol Institute. To read the full summary of the research, please follow the link below to the SUMMETH website.