Ammonia for the decarbonization of maritime transportation

1 February 2024
Amoniaco para la descarbonización del transporte marítimo

“TECNALIA will be involved in the project management and development, scale up and characterization of H2 selective membranes which are part of the ammonia crackers”

11 international organizations, coordinated by TECNALIA, join forces to develop necessary components to use ammonia as a fuel in maritime transportation

The APOLO project will develop advanced power conversion technologies based on onboard ammonia cracking through novel membrane reactor. The project aims to tackle the challenges of power conversion from ammonia and develop an efficient and flexible ammonia cracking technology. This technology will be coupled with fuel cells and internal combustion engines on board ships to achieve complete decarbonization of the maritime sector.

TECNALIA will coordinate the project along with developing the key components

TECNALIA will be involved in the project management and development, scale up and characterization of H2 selective membranes which are part of the ammonia crackers. TECNALIA’s Membrane Technology and Process Intensification group aims to achieve the right cost / purity combination for each application, by developing thin as well as supported palladium membranes and their characterization. In addition, Building and Infrastructures group from TECNALIA will be performing the health and safety analysis of the prototypes developed within the project.

APOLO paves the way to integrate Ammonia power conversion for marine sector

The project’s objective is to determine feasibility and viability of providing integrating an ammonia power conversion system for marine vessels. An initial assessment against key enhancements with the aim of adding maturity and understanding to the challenges, benefits, and integration impacts onto vessels baseline design.

Thus, APOLO is dedicated to minimizing the ecological footprint of transportation and energy, focusing on the maritime sector. To achieve this, key components (cracker, fuel cell, and engine) will be developed and improved, and life cycle assessment (LCA) will be utilized at various stages of product development.

Development of two demonstration prototypes

The consortium will focus on showcasing the following demonstration units (prototypes):

  • A 125kW power conversion system that utilizes an ammonia cracker coupled with a PEM fuel cell system, achieving an overall system efficiency of 51% to 54%. The ammonia cracker will be customized to work with different pressure conditions and efficiency levels to evaluate the flexibility of the cracking system for all types of PEM fuel cells.
  • A 125kW partial ammonia cracker coupled with a 4-stroke engine, exhibiting an overall system efficiency above 45%. A Selective Catalytic Reduction system (SCR) will also be developed for the removal of NOX emissions from the exhaust of the novel engine.

Consortium members

The consortium is made up of 11 European organizations: Astander, Chalmers, Corvus Energy, Eindhoven University of Technology, Fertiberia, H2SITE, Johnson Matthey, LEC GmbH, Nuvera, TECNALIA, and 1Cube BV.