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Research network develops solutions for the exhaust gas aftertreatment of stationary ammonia engines

LOGE Deutschland GmbH, Forschungszentrum für Verbrennungsmotoren und Thermodynamik Rostock (FVTR) GmbH, Photonion GmbH, Universität Rostock

As part of a joint project entitled "Investigation of NH3-powered stationary plants with regard to critical pollutant emissions, GHG impact, health hazards and potential for exhaust gas aftertreatment" (in short: "NH3-Stat"), the exhaust emissions of various operating modes of ammonia-powered engines are to be investigated. The consortium consisting of LOGE Deutschland GmbH (LOGE), Forschungszentrum für Verbrennungsmotoren und Thermodynamik Rostock GmbH (FVTR), Photonion GmbH and the Chairs of Analytical Chemistry (LAC) and Piston Machines and Internal Combustion Engines (LKV) at the University of Rostock will identify the exhaust gas components and develop suitable measurement methods and catalytic exhaust gas aftertreatment options. The three-and-a-half-year research project is being funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK) with around 3.5 million euros.

Ammonia is seen as a hydrogen carrier and therefore as a future energy source. Current stationary systems such as CHP units will no longer be able to run on fossil natural gas in the future. Alternatives are green, synthetic natural gas, methanol, hydrogen or ammonia. Due to the efficiency advantages of ammonia in terms of renewable generation and transportation, it is increasingly expected to make up a large proportion of the future energy mix. Direct use of ammonia in engines makes sense due to its efficiency advantages over prior conversion to hydrogen. However, it is not yet clear which combustion processes are suitable here and what consequences this will have for exhaust emissions from engines.

This is where the joint project "NH3-Stat" comes in. Two currently discussed combustion methods, ammonia-diesel dual-fuel and ammonia-hydrogen spark-ignition, are being implemented on the LKV test bench engine and the exhaust gas components and effects on the lubricating oil are being investigated. At the same time, common catalytic converter materials are being examined and evaluated for their reduction potential on the FVTR model gas test bench. At the same time, the engine combustion processes are analyzed in detail with the help of 3D CFD simulations. The partner LOGE models and optimizes the engine process and the catalytic reactions with the help of in-house software.

Due to the nitrogen-containing fuel ammonia (NH3), carbon-nitrogen (CN) compounds are formed in the combustion process in dual-fuel operation. In order to record these, the LAC is working with Photonion to develop measurement methods to quantify the organic components in the gas and particulate matter.

Finally, FVTR will work with the LKV to build a prototype exhaust gas aftertreatment system and demonstrate the potential for reducing pollutants in practical operation.