UK-based engineering company Expleo is trumpeting a closed-loop, e-methanol fuel cell, which it claims delivers a 92% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, opex savings of £1.4m ($1.67m) a year and a projected four-year payback on retrofit capex.
Expleo modelled its so-called system-of-systems solution on the multi-tasking Bibby Wavemaster 1, a vessel used to service offshore wind farms.
The solution uses solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC), technology which, although highly efficient and well suited to use in marine environments, releases a high concentration of CO2. To achieve the desired reduction in GHGe, Expleo partnered SOFC with a novel carbon capture and storage system, enabling a vessel to use its captured CO2 and green hydrogen to synthesise e-methanol.
The green hydrogen in the solution can be produced at offshore wind farms, from surplus electrical energy or supplied in-port – ensuring the closed-loop remains as sustainable as possible.
Jonathan Taylor, VP of marine at Expleo, commented : “This circular solution allows the marine industry to make its own fuel and removes the need for costly processing and transportation.”
Jeff Hoyle, vice president at Expleo, added: “This could revolutionise a sizeable portion of the global fleet, helping them to retrofit in line with targets for net zero. And, as a replacement for diesel generators, it can easily be incorporated into newbuild designs offering up to 100% reduction in GHGe.”