The company has tied up with Finnish clean energy company Hycamite TCD Technologies.

By Shardul Sharma

Wartsila has entered into a joint development agreement with Finnish clean energy company Hycamite TCD Technologies to produce hydrogen from LNG onboard marine vessels, it said on November 28.

The concept design will be ready by mid-2023 and the prototype testing unit will be ready during the second half of 2024, Wartsila said.

The concept will allow the existing LNG infrastructure to be utilised for the production of hydrogen onboard in combination with Wartsila's LNGPac fuel gas supply system. By producing hydrogen onboard and blending it with LNG, Wartsila said, the current range of fuel-flexible Wartsila dual-fuel engines can reduce the vessel’s overall carbon dioxide and methane slip emissions. Alternatively, hydrogen can also be used in fuel cells onboard.

The by-product from the process is solid carbon that, unlike conventional technologies which produce carbon dioxide as a by-product, can more easily be stored and managed onboard. The carbon produced consists of high-grade allotropes, like industrial graphite and carbon nanotubes, thereby offering a possible additional revenue stream, Wartsila added.

“Our gas engines can already operate with mixtures of hydrogen and LNG. The ability to produce the H2 onboard opens up exciting new opportunities,” said Mathias Jansson, director, fuel gas supply systems, Wartsila.

The technology can in principle be applied to all vessels operating with LNG fuel. When using bioLNG, this solution enables even power generation on board ships with a negative carbon footprint.