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Westport launches marine methanol HPDI project

Westport launches marine methanol HPDI project
Westport HPDI systems provide complete injector “tip-to-tank” OEM solutions that allow the same internal combustion engines (ICE) that are in fleets now, the ability to shift the system to run on natural gas or hydrogen instead of diesel (photo courtesy Westport).

Canada-headed Westport Fuel Systems Inc.(Westport), a leading supplier of advanced alternative fuel delivery systems and components for the global transportation industry, has announced a proof-of-concept project with a leading global supplier of power solutions for marine applications to test Westport's High-Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI) fuel system utilizing methanol for marine applications

The project, expected to start in the first quarter of 2024, will be fully funded by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and is planned to run for approximately nine months.

According to Westport, the project marks the “potential application of the HPDI fuel system for use with marine applications, serving as an initial proof-of-concept project utilizing methanol.”

It also signifies the possibility of an expansion of Westport’s HPDI fuel system beyond the liquefied natural gas (LNG) applications commercially available now and the hydrogen applications demonstrated to date.

Using renewable or carbon-neutral methanol derived from green or blue hydrogen, Westport is confident this alternative fuel approach offers an economical and efficient pathway to decarbonize the sector without compromising performance.

We are excited to continue to demonstrate Westport’s HPDI fuel system as a sustainable solution for hard-to-abate sectors like marine applications. Westport’s HPDI technology is versatile and can be used with a range of low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels, said Scott Baker, VP of Global Engineering for Westport Fuel Systems.

Methanol is a compelling choice

Methanol presents several advantages for off-road and marine applications, including its high energy density, which extends its operational range and reduces emissions compared to traditional fossil-based fuels.

Its combustion characteristics contribute to high engine efficiency and performance, with significant engine-out NOx reductions.  In addition, the ease of distribution and handling, stable storage, and lower costs enhance its practicality for off-road fleets.

Methanol’s adaptability to existing engines, potential for blending, and global availability further position it as a versatile and accessible fuel option for off-road vehicles, making it a compelling choice for industries seeking efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly solutions that they can apply relatively quickly to their entire fleets.

Renewable methanol produced from low-carbon sources is growing globally; according to the Methanol Institute (MI), there are more than 80 renewable methanol projects currently underway around the globe.

Demonstrating methanol capability with HPDI further validates our proprietary technology as an affordable solution to decarbonize the marine sector. Our fuel system is expected to provide similar torque, power, and efficiency to diesel, while also potentially reducing NOx emissions utilizing easily accessible and lower cost methanol as the fuel, ended Scott Baker.

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