FuelSOME’s vision is to make a substantial contribution to the required drastic reduction of Greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions from global shipping (climate change mitigation) with a reduction of air pollutants, such as NOx, SOX, and pollution prevention and control, at the same time.

The future roadmap of the project is that the outcomes generated will not only benefit the maritime industry but can also serve as a blueprint for implementing the same technology in other hard to abate emission sectors and/or, thereby enabling multi-fuel energy generators to become the norm in the future.

Leveraging novel concepts as well as assets from former projects and initiatives, “FuelSOME” will develop and validate, up to technology readiness level 4, a novel multifuel energy generation system based on Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Technology – called the FuelSOME system – which will be capable of operating on various fuels and fuel mixtures.

FuelSOME will go beyond the current state of the art, by developing SOFC stacks which are for the first time able to operate successfully on ammonia and methanol in addition to hydrogen. Green hydrogen, or hydrogen in general, will also be considered as it is in the focus and general interest of the EU.

The research and innovation focus pertains to the following:

  • Design of the FuelSOME technology concept and modelling, considering fuel specifications as well as fuel storage and distribution aspects.
  • Advance the performance of SOFC stacks from the current state of the art, to operate on these fuels and chalk out a design window for high efficiency operation.
  • Model an SOFC system cable of successfully operating on these fuels with >50% electrical efficiency.
  • Build an SOFC sub-system capable of successfully operating on these fuels within a Hardware in the Loop environment at the test bench.
  • Validate and test the system for maritime operating profiles while identifying areas for further research and improvement and transfer to other applications/sectors.
  • Undertake a thorough analysis of the socio-economic aspects of the proposed technology by undertaking a techno-economic assessment (TEA) and a prospective lifecycle assessment.

On one hand, the European shipping sector and industry will benefit from a technology that will guarantee high returns in the long run, thereby helping in accelerating the transition to a GHG neutrality by 2050. On the other hand, the European scientific and industrial community will benefit from a high seminal scientific and technological knowledge which will contribute and strengthen European innovation base in next generation green technologies.

With regards to fuels, ammonia, methanol, and hydrogen have been selected for consideration in FuelSOME with clear advantages regarding transportation, storage, energy density and, in the long term, potential for resource valorisation in a circular economy scenario.