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Chartwell Marine has announced its win of a £320k Innovate UK Smart Grant. The grant will enable Chartwell and consortium partners, Boat Electric & Electronics and Engineered Marine Systems, to develop and test the feasibility of a methanol-fuelled vessel design, with applications in the offshore wind, commercial workboat and leisure sectors.
Methanol fuel presents an opportunity to decarbonise in a maritime industry which is confronted with the debate over sustainable fuel alternatives, as it can be produced from biomass and can carry a near-zero carbon footprint. Methanol can be stored safely and effectively in standard atmospheric conditions, and spills have little adverse effect on the local aquatic environment. Though half as energy dense as diesel, methanol can take advantage of reforming technology alongside fuel-cells to create energy with virtually zero carbon emissions. Methanol reforming technologies are currently available commercially; however, they have been largely untested in commercial or leisure vessel design.
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