As pressures to reduce GHG emissions from ships grow, methane slip from LNG fueled engines could well become the target of future regulations.
Though LNG produces less CO2 than conventional fuels, a small proportion of the natural gas introduced into the combustion chamber can slip through the engine without being combusted. Since methane has a higher global warming potential than CO2, even this small source of emissions may come into focus in meeting IMO’s ambitious climate goals.
Alfa Laval and engine developer WinGD have already cooperated on a solution. The Alfa Laval PureCool system is the main component in WinGD’s iCER technology, an option for next-generation WinGD X-DF engines that reduces methane slip and boosts fuel and energy efficiency.
Short for Intelligent Control by Exhaust gas Recycling, iCER is the first development presented in X-DF2.0, WinGD’s second-generation dual-fuel engine technology.
CASCADE EXHAUST GAS COOLING
Alfa Laval’s PureCool is the cascade exhaust gas cooling system at the heart of the iCER concept.
“The iCER option is a standalone installation adjacent to the engine,” says ,” says David Jung, Business Development Manager at Alfa Laval. “During operation in gas mode, it improves combustion by cooling and recirculating about 50% of the exhaust gas through a low-pressure path with full turbocharger capacity. This minimizes methane slip, and the PureCool system provides the vital cooling function that makes it possible.”
Trials at WinGD’s dedicated engine test facility, which were the final step in a two-year testing program, showed a methane slip reduction of up to 50% using iCER.
“This is not fine-tuning or a marginal improvement of LNG technology,” says Jung. “This is a major environmental gain that truly strengthens LNG’s profile. With the PureCool system at its heart, iCER will cut methane slip by as much as half.”
Beyond the methane slip reduction, the iCER solution with PureCool offers engine buyers significant operational benefits – creating value even prior to potential compliance regulations. When combustion is improved with iCER, fuel consumption in gas mode is reduced by 3%.
“The PureCool system improves a vessel’s efficiency along with its emissions,” says Jung. “The fuel savings inherent to iCER can have a positive impact on a vessel’s Energy Efficiency Design Index.”