A collaboration between engine manufacturer RollsRoyce, injection system supplier Woodward L’Orange and non-profit research institute WTZ Roßlau aims to develop a high-speed maritime internal combustion engine (ICE) capable of running on green methanol (or e-methanol). Working under the ‘MeOHmare’ banner, the project partners hope to have the concept for this ICE nailed down by the end of 2025.
Utilising green methanol, produced via electrolysis and using electricity drawn from renewable sources, will necessitate significant changes to the engine concept, says Mathias Müller, project manager at Rolls-Royce Power Systems and MeOHmare project coordinator. Müller adds that the focus of the partners’ ICE development will be on “redesigning the combustion process with fuel system, turbocharging and engine control, as well as all fuel-interacting engine subsystems”.
In turn, Dr Michael Willmann, technology director at Woodward L’Orange, comments: “So far, there are no production-ready injection systems for high-speed methanol marine engines. Methanol is a challenging fuel due to its properties. That’s why new materials and injector concepts have to be introduced.”
It is understood that the e-methanol-friendly ICE concept will be largely based on Rolls-Royce’s MTU 4000 engine series. Meanwhile, WTZ Roßlau will be responsible for sefting up a methanol endurance test rig, testing injection components and developing a methanol feed pump. The MeOHmare project has received €8 million (US$8.75 million) in funding from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection.