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Hydrogen-fuelled engine


Technology Description

This type of vessel is powered by an internal combustion engine fuelled by hydrogen.
Hydrogen engines available on the market use a blend of diesel and H2, while pure hydrogen engines are currently under development by several companies, (
Compared to hydrogen fuel cells, internal combustion engines are characterised by high power density, which is indispensable for ocean going vessels. This powertrain is therefore more likely to be adopted by long-distance open sea vessels.

Relevance for Net Zero

Hydrogen engines do not require rare materials like platinum, as is the case for fuel cells. Moreover, internal combustion engines are less sensitive to hydrogen quality than fuel cells and have higher power densities. They could represent a viable solution for long distance carbon-neutral ship propulsion. Challenges remain in the development of the required bunkering infrastructure, in the low energy density of hydrogen (about 7 times less than diesel for liquid hydrogen, hence requiring a much larger tank for the same range) and in the need to store the liquefied hydrogen at about -253 °C.

Key Countries

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