Danes fund project to push SOFC development for maritime

Five leading maritime industry players have joined forces in a Danish project to realise the decarbonisation potential of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC).

Alfa Laval, DTU Energy, Haldor Topsoe, Svitzer and the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping are the partners in the project to accelerate the development of SOFC technology. Funded by a grant from Danish EUDP (Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program), the partners will pursue a high-efficiency solution with the scalability to support marine industry decarbonisation.

The project, SOFC4Maritime, will target optimal utilisation of future green fuels via application of SOFCs for power production on marine vessels. When based on fuels such as ammonia, hydrogen or bio-methane, SOFCs are claimed to hold great promise 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.

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 Mærsk McKinney Møller 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

“We are proud to contribute with our competences within SOFC technology and ammonia as a marine fuel in order to reduce carbon emissions from shipping. This is an urgent goal in combatting climate change,” added Kim Grøn Knudsen, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, Haldor Topsoe

“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,” said Bo Cerup-Simonsen, CEO, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping

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