Blue World is developing a methanol fuel cell APU for marine applications


Danish fuel cell manufacturer Blue World Technologies is development Methanol fuel cell auxiliary power unit (APU) to replace conventional diesel generators for shipboard power supply.


Blue World Technologies is a developer and manufacturer of high-temperature proton exchange membrane (HT PEM) fuel cells and will begin series production in December 2022. The company’s focus on the marine industry is supported by Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures, which in August 2022 entered as an investor and completed Blue World’s Series-B Tour, €37 million in total.

With the decision to expand the company’s activities within development and manufacturing to include APU systems for marine use, the company will be able to provide APU solutions in the megawatt range for direct integration into new buildings as well as retrofits into existing vessels.

Auxiliary power unit based on methanol fuel cells from Blue World. Fuel cells are based on high temperature PEM technology (operating at 160-180°C) which has a high impurity resistance – no gas purification is required in reforming gas. HT PEM fuel cells have the unique waste heat capability where a portion of the waste heat from the fuel cell is used to drive the methanol reforming process thus improving overall system efficiency. Moreover, waste heat can also be used for additional energy recovery.

Particularly over the past two years, we’ve seen the use of renewable methanol as a shipping fuel turn into a global trend, with more and more methanol-powered ships, cruise ships, and large ocean-going container ships being built. As a provider of charge auxiliary power units, Blue World Technologies will support this trend by offering high power methanol fuel cell solutions with high electrical efficiency, long durability and low maintenance costs. Combining our core technology with complete production from components to finished systems, our customers will benefit from our first-hand technology knowledge.

—Mads Friis Jensen, Commercial Director and Co-Founder, Blue World Technologies

Blue World Technologies’ methanol fuel cell system can provide the necessary electricity on board using a simple, modular cabinet configuration of 200 kW tanks which together can provide a power payload in the megawatt range. This means that power supplies can be customized according to specific customer needs.

To offset the green premium to e-fuels like methanol, Blue World’s methanol fuel cell CPU system will have an energy efficiency of 45% to 60%. This will reduce operating costs and thus enable cost-effective use of e-fuels.

Plus net zero CO2 emissions, Blue World fuel cells will ensure a zero NO operationxSoxharmful particles are emitted.

In the coming years, Blue World will expand its production capacity and aim to take another step in the marine market with methanol fuel cell systems for propulsion.

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