Corvus Energy has won funding for the integration of ammonia cracker technology with its Pelican Fuel Cell system. The project, titled APOLO, aims to solve the challenges of power conversion from ammonia and develop an efficient and flexible ammonia cracking technology for the maritime sector.

The four-year programme is a collaboration between several partners and started 1 January, 2024. It will demonstrate power conversion from commercially available fuel cell systems using hydrogen from ammonia cracking with a power output of 125 kW. The programme will also test an ammonia cracker coupled with a novel ammonia engine running on an ammonia/hydrogen blend to compare the different technologies.

Partners in the project in addition to Corvus Energy are H2Site, Tecnalia, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, 1 CUBE, Chalmers Tekniska Hogskola, Nuvera, Astander, Fertiberia and LEC GMBH. Tecnalia will be the coordinator of the project.

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Business case for on board ships

Through the program, Corvus Energy will work with H2Site and the other partners on the development, integration, testing and demonstration of the ammonia cracker and their Corvus Pelican PEM Fuel Cell. In addition, Corvus Energy will lead a work package developing a business case for these systems used on board ships.

Project outcomes will advance zero-emission shipping and be a step forward for the use of ammonia in maritime transportation.

‘In decarbonising the maritime sector, ammonia will be an essential part of the energy mix for ships sailing the longest routes and that also emit the most,’ says Svenn Kjetil Haveland, VP Development Projects. ‘There are no commercially viable ammonia solutions available for shipowners as of today. Developing advanced methods for cracking ammonia and demonstrating scalability and overall system efficiency is an important step forward.’

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Horizon Europe Framework Programme

The project funding is part of the Horizon Europe Framework Programme, Horizon-CL5-2023-D5-01. The technologies developed in APOLO will be capable of targeting the first 30,000 ships in the market. Initially, the focus will be on vessels with 1 to 10 MW propulsion, with a significant number of them being around 3 MW in the next decade, as these are the first vessels relevant for ammonia-powered solutions.

Picture: The Corvus Pelican Fuel cell will be used to test the ammonia cracker technology in the APOLO project (by Corvus Energy).

Also read: Are zero-emission ammonia-powered installation vessels a viable option?