On December 15, there was an opportunity to get to know the results of HyMethShip, an innovative EU project that has been carried out in the past 3 years by a consortium of 13 partners from industry and academia. The event was announced by the project partners to their business contacts and so over 80 participants attended the event, which was conducted online.
The HyMethShip project has developed a propulsion system for large marine vessels that provides the possibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions massively. HyMethShip innovatively combines a membrane reactor, a CO2 capture system, a storage system for CO2 and methanol as well as a hydrogen-fueled combustion engine into one system. The proposed solution reforms methanol to hydrogen, which is then burned in a conventional reciprocating engine that has been upgraded to operate with multiple fuel types and specially optimized for hydrogen use.
Dr. Nicole Wermuth (LEC) explained how these technologies are working in combination and interacting with one another. The challenge was to realize a stable operation ensuring that all carbon capture and storage components are driven with the waste heat of the engine which in turn has to run with highest efficiency while meeting the strict emission targets.
Dr. Joanne Ellis of the Swedish Research and consulting company SSPA showed a case study of a RoPax ferry with a propulsion power of 18 MW that could be delivered by 4 marine engines each rated 5 MW and each fueled by hydrogen produced from membrane reactors built exactly like those from the Demonstrator in Graz. The HyMethShip concept was evaluated to be particularly suitable for Passenger and cruise ships on travels up to 600 nautical miles and for bigger ships (tankers and Ro-Ro cargo ships on high sea voyages.
Promising were also the results of the environmental and the cost assessments (LCA- and LCC-study) that were presented by Dr. Selma Brynolf (Chalmers University of Technology). HyMethShip achieves the highest greenhouse gas reductions that the other systems can only achieve when using e-fuels with carbon dioxide captured from the air (rather than from fossil sources), or hydrogen and ammonia produced by renewable energy. The latter systems are far from being mature.
Marine safety requirements are extensive and systems that can only perform with expensive measures e.g. consuming too much of the valuable space will not succeed. The classification experts from LR, Dr. Alex Pedgrift and Dr. Abhijit Aul examined all possible dangers and their consequences and could develop safeguards and recommendations that will ensure a safe operation of a HyMethShip.
The tenor of the discussion was that the HyMethShip system could prove its feasibility and represents an attractive way to achieve far-reaching decarbonization of the shipping sector. The elegance of the system is especially reflected in the closing of the carbon cycle which is achieved by incorporating a pre-combustion carbon capture process. The interest of the participants was high, and was also demonstrated by the fact that all stayed until the end of the event.
The presentation slides will be available on the HyMethShip-website (; registered persons will receive a notification as soon as it is implemented.


Nicole Wermuth

Selma Brynolf

Joanne Ellis

Alex Pedgrift / Abhijit Aul


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