CMB.Tech Achieves World First with Diesel-Hydrogen Dual Fuel Genset Development

Author: Daniel G. Teleoaca – Marine Chief Engineer

Source and credit: CMB.Tech

CMB.TECH, a Belgian company that develops and integrates hydrogen solutions for marine and industrial applications, has partnered with DBR, a Dutch manufacturer of custom-built and standard generator sets, to build the world’s first marine dual-fuel hydrogen genset.

Source and credit: CMB.Tech

The genset, which uses a MAN V12-24l engine that has been successfully used in previous collaborations between CMB.TECH and MAN Engines, can run on both diesel and hydrogen, achieving emission savings of up to 83%. The genset has a maximum output of 940 kVA / 752 kWh at 60 Hz (1800 rpm) and can operate on diesel or in dual fuel mode, where emission savings of up to 83% can be achieved. In a typical D2 duty cycle, 53% of diesel consumption and 12% of AdBlue consumption are saved, resulting in a significant reduction in CO2 emissions.

Source and credit: CMB.Tech

The dual-fuel hydrogen genset is designed to be easily integrated into existing ships and power plants, as well as new builds. It offers fuel flexibility, as it can switch between diesel and hydrogen automatically without any loss of power or efficiency. It also allows the use of low-purity hydrogen, which reduces the cost and complexity of hydrogen production and storage.

Source and credit: CMB.Tech

The dual-fuel hydrogen genset is part of CMB.TECH’s vision to bring hydrogen to the industry and to create a zero-emission future for the maritime sector. CMB.TECH also offers hydrogen and ammonia fuel to its customers, either through its own production or by sourcing it from third-party producers. CMB.TECH has already developed several hydrogen-powered vessels, such as the Hydroville passenger shuttle, the HydroCat catamaran, and the HydroTug tugboat.

The dual-fuel hydrogen genset is expected to be commercially available in 2024. CMB.TECH and DBR are confident that this innovative technology will provide a cost-effective and reliable solution for low- and zero-emission power generation in the marine industry.


  • CMB.Tech

Revolutionary Hydrogen Generator Sets Sail: A New Era for Clean Energy on Vessels

Date: October 03, 2023

By: Daniel G. Teleoaca – Marine Chief Engineer

In a groundbreaking development, the maritime industry is on the brink of a transformation towards cleaner and more sustainable energy sources. The introduction of hydrogen generators for marine applications onboard vessels promises to revolutionize the way ships operate, reduce emissions, and usher in a new era of environmental responsibility.

Hydrogen, known as the most abundant element in the universe, has long been touted as a clean and efficient energy source. Recent advancements in hydrogen generation technology have paved the way for its adoption in various industries, including maritime. These developments are poised to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of vessels, helping the shipping industry make substantial progress towards achieving its sustainability goals.

Hydrogen is a promising alternative fuel for the maritime sector, as it can provide zero-emission power for various applications, such as main propulsion, electrical generation, and refrigeration. However, one of the main challenges of using hydrogen onboard vessels is the storage and delivery of compressed hydrogen, which requires high pressure, large volume, and complex infrastructure.

A novel solution to this challenge is to generate hydrogen onboard vessels using methanol and water as feedstocks. Methanol is a liquid fuel that can be easily stored and transported at ambient conditions, and water can be sourced from the sea. Methanol and water can be converted to hydrogen and carbon dioxide by a catalytic reforming process, which can then feed a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell to produce electricity and heat.

This technology has been developed by e1 Marine1, a company that specializes in hydrogen on-demand generators for the marine sector. e1 Marine’s M-Series hydrogen generator is a compact and mobile unit that can be installed directly onboard fuel cell vessels. The M-Series can produce up to 50 kg of hydrogen per day, enough to power a 200 kW fuel cell system. The M-Series uses methanol enriched with water, which has up to six times the energy density of compressed hydrogen, providing fuel cell power solutions with significantly reduced cost, increased safety, efficiency, and operational range.

Marine mobile hydrogen generator. Source and Credit: e1 Marine

e1 Marine’s M-Series hydrogen generator has been successfully tested and demonstrated on various vessels, such as inland and coastal ferries, research vessels, and container ships. e1 Marine has also partnered with Maritime Partners2, a leading provider of leasing and financing solutions for the maritime industry, to offer flexible leasing options for vessel operators who want to adopt clean technology for their fleets.

According to Dr. Dave Edlund, the CEO of e1 Marine, “Hydrogen is the ultimate clean fuel for the maritime sector, but it has been hindered by the challenges of storage and delivery. Our M-Series hydrogen generator solves these challenges by producing hydrogen onboard vessels using methanol and water as feedstocks. This technology enables vessel operators to reduce their carbon footprint and comply with the IMO 2030/50 regulations, while also saving on fuel costs and increasing their operational flexibility.”

e1 Marine’s M-Series hydrogen generator is one of the examples of how hydrogen fuel cells can be applied in maritime settings. Other examples include the Zero/V3, a hydrogen fuel-cell coastal research vessel designed by Sandia National Laboratories; the Energy Observer4, an experimental ship that uses renewable energy and seawater electrolysis to generate onboard hydrogen; and the Containerized Hydrogen Generator1, a modularized methanol/fuel cell power solution that can provide zero-emission shore power.

The adoption of hydrogen generators for marine use holds immense promise in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping industry. Currently responsible for a significant portion of global emissions, the maritime sector has been under increasing pressure to reduce its environmental impact.

Hydrogen generator for marine application onboard vessels is a clean and cost-effective solution that can help the maritime sector achieve its decarbonization goals and enhance its competitiveness in the global market.

Source and Credit:

  • e1Marine;
  • Sandia Energy; 

Propelling Ahead: Major Trends in Marine Propulsion Define Maritime Landscape in 2023

Date: September 01, 2023

By: Daniel G. Teleoaca – Marine Chief Engineer

The maritime propulsion landscape is undergoing a remarkable transformation in 2023, fueled by innovation and a growing commitment to sustainability. As the world seeks cleaner and more efficient modes of transportation, the maritime industry is embracing a range of major trends in propulsion that promise to reshape the way ships navigate the seas while reducing their environmental impact.

1. Electrification Takes Center Stage

Electrification has emerged as a defining trend in marine propulsion, revolutionizing the way ships are powered. From ferries and cruise liners to cargo vessels, electrification is reshaping maritime transportation.

Source and Credit: Kawasaki Heavy Industries

Electric propulsion systems, powered by high-capacity batteries, offer unparalleled efficiency, lower emissions, and reduced noise pollution. This trend aligns perfectly with the industry’s push toward environmental responsibility and sustainable practices.

2. Hydrogen Fuel Cells Gain Momentum

The maritime sector’s quest for cleaner energy sources has ushered in the rise of hydrogen fuel cell propulsion.

Source and Credit: Green Car Congress

These cells, which generate electricity by combining hydrogen with oxygen, emit only water vapor as a byproduct. Major shipping companies are investing in research and development, making strides towards hydrogen-powered vessels. This trend not only reduces emissions but also showcases the industry’s commitment to embracing innovative technologies for a greener future.

3. Sustainable Biofuels and LNG

Biofuels derived from renewable sources and liquefied natural gas (LNG) are gaining traction as alternative propulsion solutions.

Source and Credit: Wartsila

These fuels offer reduced carbon emissions compared to traditional fossil fuels, contributing to a more sustainable maritime industry. LNG, in particular, has seen increased adoption due to its potential to significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions, aligning with international emission reduction goals.

4. Advanced Hybrid Systems

Hybrid propulsion systems that combine traditional engines with electric or alternative power sources are becoming a staple in modern marine engineering.

Source and Credit: Wartsila

These systems optimize efficiency by seamlessly switching between power sources based on operational requirements, resulting in reduced fuel consumption and emissions. Hybrid solutions offer flexibility and versatility, making them well-suited for a variety of vessel types and applications.

5. Digital Twin Technology for Performance Optimization

Digital twin technology, a virtual replica of a vessel’s systems and operations, is playing a pivotal role in optimizing propulsion performance. By leveraging real-time data and simulations, ship operators can fine-tune propulsion systems for maximum efficiency and reliability. This trend enhances operational decision-making, reduces downtime, and prolongs the lifespan of propulsion equipment.

Charting a Sustainable Course Forward

As the maritime industry adapts to evolving environmental regulations and societal expectations, these major propulsion trends highlight a collective effort to transition towards a more sustainable and efficient maritime future. From electrification and hydrogen fuel cells to advanced hybrid systems and digital innovations, the maritime sector is harnessing the power of innovation to navigate towards cleaner, greener waters. The trends of 2023 are not just shaping the way ships move; they are steering the industry towards a more responsible and eco-conscious future.

Hydrogen Fuel Cells Revolutionize Maritime Industry: Green Propulsion Takes the Helm

Date: August 30, 2023

By: Daniel G. Teleoaca – Marine Chief Engineer

The maritime industry is experiencing a monumental shift as hydrogen fuel cells emerge as a game-changing technology, propelling vessels towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future. This revolutionary development is poised to reshape the way ships are powered, offering a cleaner alternative to traditional fossil fuels.

Sailing into the Future with Hydrogen Fuel Cells

In a landmark achievement, marine engineers and researchers have successfully harnessed the power of hydrogen fuel cells to drive ships, marking a watershed moment for the maritime sector. Hydrogen, when combined with oxygen in these cells, produces electricity with the only byproduct being pure water vapor. This clean and emission-free process offers a significant advantage over conventional propulsion systems that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

Maiden Voyage of the Hydrogen-Powered Ship

Breaking new ground, the world recently witnessed the inaugural journey of the first-ever hydrogen-powered commercial vessel. This monumental event took place as a consortium of visionary shipping companies came together to launch the pioneering container ship. Named “EcoVoyager,” the vessel embarked on its maiden voyage, showcasing the viability and potential of hydrogen fuel cell technology in real-world maritime operations.

Source and Credit: Green Car Congress

The EcoVoyager’s successful journey underscores the commitment of the maritime industry to embrace innovative solutions that align with global sustainability goals. The vessel’s emission-free operation, quiet propulsion, and reduced environmental impact exemplify a future where clean energy sources drive the world’s shipping fleets.

Addressing Challenges and Unlocking Potential

While hydrogen fuel cells hold great promise, challenges remain on the road to widespread adoption. Infrastructure for producing, storing, and distributing hydrogen needs to be expanded to support the demands of the shipping industry. Additionally, advancements in fuel cell efficiency and durability are essential to ensure economic viability and operational reliability.

Governments, research institutions, and industry stakeholders are collaborating to overcome these hurdles. Investment in research and development is accelerating the evolution of fuel cell technology, with a focus on optimizing performance, cost-effectiveness, and safety.

Pioneering a Cleaner Tomorrow

The integration of hydrogen fuel cells into maritime propulsion systems presents an unprecedented opportunity to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. As the international community intensifies efforts to combat climate change, the maritime sector has a critical role to play in achieving global emission reduction targets.

The success of the hydrogen-powered vessel demonstrates that the future of marine engineering is firmly rooted in innovation, sustainability, and a commitment to leaving behind a healthier planet for future generations. As the maritime industry embraces hydrogen fuel cells, it propels itself into a new era of clean, efficient, and responsible shipping that not only meets current environmental challenges but also helps pave the way for a brighter, greener future.