MAN clears path for methanol uptake with new engine approval

German engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions (MAN ES) is pushing forward with the development of methanol-ready engines for the maritime industry to meet the growing demand for methanol as one of the marine fuels of the future.

DNV awards MAN ES approval certificate for methanol-ready engine; Image by DNV

The company has secured type approval certificate for its four-stroke 32/44CR medium speed marine engine from DNV.

“The maritime industry needs all hands on deck as we work towards decarbonization and DNV is proud to be associated with great partners like MAN who are driving the transition,” DNV said on the occasion.

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The engine uses electronic injection, high-efficiency turbochargers, electronic hardware, and variable valve timing resulting in low emissions and high efficiency, and high specific power output, according to its developer. MAN said earlier that it plans to make solutions for the use of methanol in four-stroke engines available from 2024.

Four-stroke engines are mostly fitted on container ships, ferries, fishing or cruise vessels, as well as offshore solutions.

MAN has been chosen to supply eight methanol dual-fuel engines for new Maersk’s containerships and they will be the largest methanol-burning engines ever constructed.

B&W 8G95ME liquid gas injection methanol (LGIM) engines will be based on their 50-bore counterpart, which has gathered more than 100,000 running hours on methanol.

It is a two-stroke, dual-fuel engine that can run on methanol as well as conventional fuels. Moving forward, MAN plans to enable them to burn bio-methanol as well as e-methanol.

Methanol generates fewer NOx emissions and no SOx or soot emissions during combustion. It is much easier to handle compared to gaseous fuels and it is less hazardous for aquatic organisms compared to marine gas oil or heavy fuel oil. The main challenges lie in the fuel system and injection technology as well as in the optimization of the combustion, according to MAN.

MAN Energy Solutions has also marked the debut of its MAN 49/60DF engine type at the SMM trade fair in Hamburg. The dual-fuel four-stroke engine is capable of running on LNG, diesel, and HFO as well as biofuel blends and synthetic natural gas.

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