SUMMETH approves use of methanol as sustainable marine fuel

By June 1, 2018Marine Fuel

The Swedish road ferry Saturnus. Credit: Truls Persson/The Swedish Transport Administration

The Sustainable Marine Methanol (SUMMETH) project, managed by SSPA, has reached a conclusion that methanol can be used as an effective alternative fuel solution for smaller vessels.

Use of renewable methanol could bring significant environmental benefits by reducing particulate emissions, eliminating sulphur emissions and minimising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

As part of its involvement in SUMMETH, SSPA has conducted environmental assessments, feasibility of sustainable methanol supply, and safety assessment of the project.

SUMMETH was conducted to study and develop methanol engine and fuel solutions for smaller ships, as well as evaluate the environmental benefits and feasibility of transporting and supplying sustainable methanol as ship fuel.

Methanol is currently being used as a dual fuel solution on large vessels, including the Stena Germanica, but it has not been tested on smaller vessels.

As part of the SUMMETH, researchers tested a number of methanol concepts for smaller engines between a 250kW-1200kW range.

“Methanol is more feasible and provides environmental benefits when used in smaller vessels.”

The researchers have also developed a design to convert a Swedish Transport Administration’s ferry to run on methanol.

The project has also demonstrated that, compared to conventional fuel, methanol is more feasible and provides environmental benefits when used in smaller vessels.

The project’s final report will feature the technical feasibility of converting the current vessels’ propulsion into methanol-based propulsion, consequent environmental benefits, bunkering issues, and aspects related to existing and future fuel supply scenario.

ScandiNAOS, Marine Benchmark, Lund University, Swedish Transport Administration Road Ferries, Scania, SMTF, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, and others were involved in SUMMETH.