Innovation, News

Finland finds the fuel of the future and beats hydrogen: sci-fi four-stroke engine

The fuel of the future could well be hydrogen, which emits only water vapor for a reason. However, Japan was not going to be the only country to develop it, now that they have stiff competition. Finland has just discovered an even better fuel that we don’t even know about in America and that we are now going to explore. This is the sci-fi four-stroke engine that could revolutionize the world’s roads.

America has EVs and Japan has hydrogen, but Finland has developed something better

It is a welcome prospect for Finland to have shifted to ammonia as a substitute for hydrogen as it moves closer to adoption of cleaner energy sources. They mention that their approach solves several problems related to hydrogen, and these are storage, transportation, and hydrogen’s explosive nature.

Hydrogen is the most well-known ingredient of ammonia and the latter, primarily associated with fertilizers, has now evolved itself as a feasible option for overcoming the hurdles that come along the way with use of hydrogen. The key advantages of using ammonia as a hydrogen carrier include:

  • High Density: Indeed, ammonia has a higher hydrogen density as compared to that of the gaseous hydrogen; thereby making ammonia to be much more convenient to store and transport as a source of hydrogen. This also allows for the storage and transportation of more hydrogen in a given smaller volume.
  • Existing Infrastructure Utilisation: One of the major strengths can be mentioned here is the ability to utilize the current infrastructure used in ammonia production and distribution. Thus, transition from fossil fuels is easier than existing ammonia production and distribution infrastructure.
  • Global Accessibility: Ammonia is one of the most widely traded chemical products in the global market thus the market channels for this chemical are well developed. As such it makes it a light carrier for hydrogen to enhance its international mobility for trade and cooperation.

New fuel to revolutionize the roads and put an end to hydrogen: this brand is producing it

Hydrogen solutions via ammonia have been a notable area of advancement for the Finish economy. For example, Wärtsilä an international engineering company from Finland has introduced the first 4-stroke ammonia engine.

This is regarded as the greatest breakthrough of change in making the energy generation process much more environmentally friendly since ammonia may be used as a fuel source for heavy-duty engines. Moreover, there are currently ongoing projects for the hydrogen economy in Finland also such as green ammonia.

For example, Flexens Oy Ab and KIP Infra Oy have produced a whitepaper for green hydrogen and ammonia production at Kokkola Industrial Park with an electrolyzer size of 300MW. It is similar to a project from Malaysia to develop green ammonia, but only for vessels. 

First ammonia engine, in detail: the potential uses of this innovative, clean fuel 

The use of ammonia as a hydrogen carrier holds immense potential for various applications:

  • Hydrogen-Powered Transportation: Ammonia also could be used as a fuel for hydrogen transportation systems hence the potential to transform the transport industry. Fuel cells can be used to convert ammonia back into electric energy, making it easy to use the fuel in different types of transport.
  • Energy Density and Storage: Ammonia fire has even more energy density than hydrogen fire aside from the fact that the energy density of ammonia is higher than energy density of pure hydrogen gas. This implies that in the same volume, there is the potential to store more energy in the case of gases.
  • Versatile Applications: Ammonia is used in energy storage and transportation only to some extent but is also employed in other industries. Due to its properties, it is used largely in agriculture for application as fertilizer and in refrigeration. 

You don’t see an ammonia engine like this every day, in fact, until now they were only for ships. In any case, it is a revolution that has not taken long to spread around the world, as demonstrated by the Malaysian project to generate it (in an even “greener” version). What do you think of this proposal to find something better than hydrogen and, of course, EVs?

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