Methane Slip From LNG-Fuelled Ships Can Be Halved: Wärtsilä

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Wednesday August 30, 2023

Engineering firm Wärtsilä and Swedish shipping company Furetank are working on technologies that they suggest could halve methane slip from LNG-fuelled ships.

The two companies are jointly developing a GHG reduction package and a low load optimisation package for LNG-fuelled ships, Furetank said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

The first package "actively controls the engine while working in demanding conditions like manoeuvring, harsh sea conditions or varying fuel quality," Furetank said.

"This way, combustion is optimized and unburned gas emissions minimized."

Meanwhile, the second package is aimed at "reducing the methane slip at low engine loads, for example during harbour operations like loading and unloading," the company added.

"This package actively balances the loading of each engine cylinder, optimizing the overall total engine efficiency even at a low engine load."

In laboratory and sea tests the combination of the two packages cut methane slip by 45-50%.

Methane slip is the release of unburned gas into the atmosphere. As methane has a significantly stronger greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide, this problem greatly reduces the environmental credentials of using LNG as a bunker fuel.

"These are great results, far exceeding what we had expected or technically believed," Göran Österdahl, marine power sales director at Wärtsilä, said in the statement.

"The tests show a significant impact in absolute terms.

"We believe many shipping companies will be interested in these solutions.

"And this is not the end of the road, there is more to be done."