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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Future Fuels: Alfa Laval Earns ABS AIP for Firing Boilers with Methanol

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

December 7, 2021

  • “Alfa Laval is looking at the full scope of methanol’s influence on board,” says Lars Skytte Jørgensen, Vice President Technology Development, Energy Systems, Alfa Laval Marine Division. Photo courtesy Alfa Laval
  • Vassilios Kroustallis, ABS Senior Vice President Global Business Development
  • “Alfa Laval is looking at the full scope of methanol’s influence on board,” says Lars Skytte Jørgensen, Vice President Technology Development, Energy Systems, Alfa Laval Marine Division. Photo courtesy Alfa Laval “Alfa Laval is looking at the full scope of methanol’s influence on board,” says Lars Skytte Jørgensen, Vice President Technology Development, Energy Systems, Alfa Laval Marine Division. Photo courtesy Alfa Laval
  • Vassilios Kroustallis, ABS Senior Vice President Global Business Development Vassilios Kroustallis, ABS Senior Vice President Global Business Development

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) granted Alfa Laval the first marine approval for operating boilers on methanol.

“Alfa Laval is looking at the full scope of methanol’s influence on board,” says Lars Skytte Jørgensen, Vice President Technology Development, Energy Systems, Alfa Laval Marine Division. “The most natural choice for boilers is to fire them with the vessel’s primary fuel, but methanol’s low-flashpoint nature and the differences in its energy density require a new approach to the burner and fuel supply systems. It was important for us to develop that approach, and we are proud to have it validated by ABS.”

Alfa Laval has been testing boiler operations with methanol since early 2021 at the Alfa Laval Test & Training Center, where engine combustion tests with methanol are also underway. Tests have been conducted using a pressure-atomizing MultiFlame burner on an Alfa Laval Aalborg OS-TCi boiler, as well as a methanol valve unit (MVU) designed by Alfa Laval to meet the class requirements from ABS.

According to the company,,initial results, obtained with both pure methanol and a methanol-water mixture, showed as expected that methanol is easy to ignite and results in very low emissions. Focus was therefore placed on securing the same steam output with methanol – despite its lower heat value – as would be the case using oil or gas as fuel. A solution was reached after a few adaptations, ensuing that a boiler of a given size can produce the same amount of steam regardless which fuel is used. This meant that development could move rapidly to optimizing the fuel supply system and working with ABS on the methanol AIP.

With the AIP in hand, the next step for Alfa Laval will be a pilot installation on an oceangoing vessel.


Alfa Laval Aalborg Boiler at the Alfa Laval Test & Training Center. Photo courtesy Alfa Laval

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