The GreenPilot project reached a significant milestone in May 2017 when the methanol engine was started in the boat for the first time. Since then the engine has had more running on some trial runs and at the quay. Results have so far been very promising with no significant problems encountered. 

Load response works well and a significant improvement of the life on board is the much lower sound from the methanol engine.

Of course, testing is still in early days and it will take some time to get a better understanding of how everything works together and collect data for more reliable results. 

In addition to testing the boat the project was present at Nor-Shipping 2017 where the Scania engine was on display in the Swedish pavilion. The engine attracted much interest and many visitors were informed of the possibilities of using methanol as fuel. 

Manufacturers generally produce methanol from natural gas-derived syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Direct hydrogenation of carbon dioxide would be a more efficient and environmentally sustainable route to methanol. But practical catalysts capable of making this reaction happen on an industrial scale have been unavailable.

Javier Pérez-Ramírez of ETH Zurich and coworkers now demonstrate a catalyst that supported the process under conditions similar to those required for industrial production.

Read more on C&EN, Chemical & Engineering News 

[direct link to article]

Vacancies on the surface of a ZrO2-supported In2O3 catalyst play a key role in converting CO2 to CH3OH.
Credit: Adapted from Qingfeng Ge & Javier Pérez-Ramírez

 The MAN paper Diesel Facts has published an article that describes the MAN-LGI methanol dual fuel engine and the advantages with using methanol as fuel. The engine is the one used for the seven methanol tankers operating for Waterfront shipping described earlier. Click on the image to read the article or follow the link below to download the whole paper or previous issues. 

 Download the whole paper or previous issues from MAN [Direct link]

Göteborg, Sweden, June 10, 2016 – A seminar will be held on 15-16 June 2016 in Göteborg to introduce the recently-initiated GreenPilot project and present the status of methanol as a marine fuel. The project, which began in March 2016, intends to convert a pilot boat to methanol operation to show how a methanol conversion of a smaller vessel can be carried out in practice and to demonstrate the emissions reductions that can be achieved. Methanol is a sulphur-free clean-burning alcohol that has reduced emissions of harmful particulates and nitrous oxides as compared to conventional marine fuels.

By using methanol produced from renewable feedstocks the net emissions of greenhouse gases are to large extent eliminated. Methanol production from biomass will be the topic of a presentation by Ingvar Landälv of Luleå University. Renewable methanol produced in Sweden has been tested in automotive and motorcyle engines , and will now be introduced as marine fuel. There is great potential to produce renewable methanol from forestry biomass and residues in Sweden and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Other presenters at the seminar include Per Stefenson, speaking about the methanol conversion of the Stena Germanica, the first ferry in the world to use methanol fuel, and Fredrik Stübner of Marinvest who will describe the experience with the first ship newbuilding project with methanol as marine fuel. The seminar will also have presentations from the SUMMETH (Sustainable Marine Methanol) project, the Methanol Institute’s Greg Dolan, Lund University, Wärtsilä, Chalmers University of Technology, VTT Technical Research Institute of Finland, and more.

The GreenPilot seminar will be held at conference facilities adjacent to the ScandiNAOS offices, located at Adolf Edelsvärds gata 11 in the Klippan area of Göteborg. The seminar will begin at 12:00 with lunch, followed by presentations beginning at 13:00. On the morning of June 16th, from 8:30 to 9:00 AM, there will be an opportunity to view and photograph the pilot boat which will be converted to methanol operation as part of the GreenPilot project.

GreenPilot project partners include the Swedish Maritime Technology Forum (administrative coordinator), ScandiNAOS (technical coordinator), SSPA Sweden, the Swedish Maritime Administration and the Swedish Transport Administration. The project is co-funded by the Swedish Maritime Administration, the Swedish Transport Administration and the Methanol Institute.

More information of the project can be found at

 Download the Press Release as pdf

By now the three first of the total seven methanol powered tankers are out on the ocean. Named Lindanger, Taranaki Sun and Mari Jone. We wish them all good luck and look forward for more news of the progress.

 MV Taranaki Sun from Mitsui O.S.K. Lines. Photo credit: Waterfront Shipping