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Methanol as a Fuel for Marine Diesel Engines

Part of the Energy, Environment, and Sustainability book series (ENENSU)


Maritime transportation is the most important transportation type since 90% of world trade is carried. There are 96,295 ships in operation all over the world, and more than 300 million tons of fuel is consumed annually. A significant amount of emissions are emitted when ships are in operation. There are strict emission rules and regulations that are entered into force by the International Maritime Organization. To reduce shipping emissions and comply with the emission rules and regulations, there are various technologies and methods, including engine modifications, after-treatment systems, and alternative fuels. In today’s maritime transportation, the use of alternative fuels on ships increases its popularity. Methanol is one of the promising alternative fuels for future maritime transportation. Although methanol-fueled ships are low in number now, methanol has the potential to increase in usage on ships in the future. There is a scant amount of study and a lack of knowledge about methanol usage on marine diesel engines since it is the new fuel for maritime transportation. The methanol combustion at marine diesel engines is needed to be discussed because it is a unique fuel that can provide high engine efficiency and low emissions than diesel fuel. This chapter covers information about the status of maritime transportation, international maritime emission rules and regulations, emission mitigation technologies and methods, methanol at maritime transportation, methanol properties, and combustion concepts, and the methanol partially premixed combustion strategy for maritime transportation. Lastly, the summary section comprises the chapter results. One of the main findings of the chapter is using methanol as an alternative fuel can reduce the different types of regulated emissions at maritime transportation at once without applying additional equipment while providing more efficient marine diesel engines. Another finding is the methanol partially premixed combustion (PPC) strategy showed high engine efficiency than the conventional marine gas oil-fueled diesel engine with lower CO2 and NOX emissions. The sulfur-free structure of methanol does not emit SOX emissions and the low-carbon chain structure of the methanol molecule extremely decreases PM emission formation. This chapter confirms that the methanol PPC can be a solution for marine engines to comply with emission regulations and more efficient engine operation from low load to high load.

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Stoichiometric air–fuel ratio


Carbon capture system


Compression ignition


Coefficient of variation indicated mean effective pressure


Direct injection spark ignition


Dimethyl ether


Emission control area


Energy efficiency design index


Energy efficiency operational indicator


European Free Trade Association


Exhaust gas recirculation


European Maritime Safety Agency


Gross-indicated efficiency


Fuel mean effective pressure


Homogenous charge compression ignition


Heavy fuel oil


The International Association of Classification Societies


Gross-indicated mean effective pressure


International Maritime Organization


Lower heating value


Low-sulfur marine gas oil


International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships


Marine Environment Protection Committee


Marine gas oil


Motor octane number


Monitoring, reporting, verification


Caustic soda


Port fuel injection-spark-ignited combustion


Partially premixed combustion


Pressure rise rate


Reactivity-controlled compression ignition


Research octane number


Scavenge air moisturizing system


Selective catalytic reduction


Specific energy consumption


Ship energy efficiency management plan


Spark ignition


Solid oxide fuel cell


Straight vegetable oil


The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development


Waste heat recovery system


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Zincir, B., Deniz, C. (2021). Methanol as a Fuel for Marine Diesel Engines. In: Shukla, P.C., Belgiorno, G., Di Blasio, G., Agarwal, A.K. (eds) Alcohol as an Alternative Fuel for Internal Combustion Engines . Energy, Environment, and Sustainability. Springer, Singapore.

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