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ABS takes part in SOFC4Maritime fuel cell development project

Classification society ABS has decided to join SOFC4Maritime, a joint development project (JDP) to accelerate the development of the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology.

Announced in January this year, the project gathers together Alfa Laval, DTU Energy, Haldor Topsoe, Svitzer and the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping. 

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Funded by a grant from Danish Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program (EUDP), the partners intend to pursue a high-efficiency solution with the scalability to support marine industry decarbonization.

ABS, a founding member of the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, will focus on safety, utilizing its New Technology Qualification service to assess the technology’s ability to perform intended functions in line with defined performance requirements.

The JDP will target optimal utilization of future green fuels via the application of SOFCs for power generation on marine vessels. When based on fuels such as ammonia, hydrogen or bio-methane, SOFCs hold significant potential for reducing the carbon footprint of vessel designs. Such alternatives are needed in the maritime industry, which must transition to greener power over just a few decades.

“This technology has the potential to make a significant contribution to maritime’s decarbonization ambitions,” Georgios Plevrakis, ABS Director, Sustainability, pointed out.

“We are delighted to be able to utilize (our) experience to support our partners in the SOFC4Maritime project, which will advance the industry’s understanding of the exciting possibilities offered by fuel cells,” he added.

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 said to be especially attractive, since ammonia can be produced on large scale using renewable electricity. The research will therefore have ammonia-based SOFCs as its starting point.