New technology can unlock green methanol as a scalable zero emission fuel for the global maritime sector, according to an industry consortium. Larne-based B9 Energy Storage and Teesside University’s Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre have developed an innovative, patent pending tech solution, which has the potential to make a truly net zero green methanol economy a reality.


Funding has been secured for the project through the UK Department for Transport and Innovate UK to investigate the feasibility of establishing a green shipping corridor between Northern Ireland and the northwest of England. The project will use a roll on/roll off (ro-ro) freight ferry, powered by hydrogen reformed onboard from green methanol.

The green methanol would be synthesised at the Port of Larne from green hydrogen generated from otherwise curtailed wind power, and CO2 captured onboard the ferry. This CO2 would be returned to the synthesis plant in the same containers that delivered the methanol – setting up a circular economy that avoids future supply constraint of green CO2.

This green shipping corridor would have ‘true-zero’ emissions – reliant on neither bio-derived CO2, direct air-captured CO2 nor any carbon offsetting to meet net zero objectives.

The performance of the new technology will first be simulated using techno-economic modelling of the green shipping corridor, which includes details of the latest ro-ro freight ferry design from partner DFDS Seaways, Europe’s largest ro-ro freight ferry operator, and then followed up by pre-deployment trials at the Port of Larne, also a project partner.

David Surplus OBE, Managing Director of B9 Energy Storage, and co-inventor of the innovative system, said: “We are very pleased to be working closely with consortium members to bring the green methanol economy to reality. Green methanol is a preferable zero-emission fuel for the shipping industry, and through our work on this project we want to demonstrate how this technology can be scaled up and delivered.”

Dr. Kumar Patchigolla, Professor of Decarbonisation of Industrial Clusters at NZIIC, said: “The Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre (NZIIC) at Teesside University will examine the positive role that methanol is playing in decarbonising the marine sector in support of global net zero ambitions and the green economy. Methanol is an untapped fuel with the potential to transform the maritime sector into a green industry.”

Partners on the project include B9 Energy, Teesside University Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre, DFDS Seaways, DFDS Logistics, JG Maritime Solutions, Larne Harbour and Mutual Energy. CMDC4 is part of the Department’s UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE) programme, a £206m initiative focused on developing the technology necessary to decarbonise the UK domestic maritime sector.

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New technology can unlock green methanol as a scalable zero emission fuel for the global maritime sector, according to an industry consortium. Larne-based B9 Energy Storage and Teesside University’s Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre have developed an innovative, patent pending tech solution, which has the