High-pressure diaphragm pumps for LPG and ammonia in fuel gas supply systems on ships

The shipping industry plays a crucial role in global trade, but also contributes to harmful emissions such as CO2, nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides. For CO2 alone, shipping accounts for almost 3% of total global emissions.

In addition to LNG, methanol and LPG, ammonia is becoming increasingly important as an alternative fuel. All enable cleaner and more efficient combustion than the previously used heavy fuel oil. Modern and efficient dual-fuel 2-stroke marine diesel engines require the precise and safe injection of these alternative marine fuels. LEWA triplex diaphragm pumps are ideally suited for this purpose.

Solutions

LEWA offers robust and safe diaphragm pumps for use in fuel gas supply systems on ships – they are particularly suitable for LPG, ammonia or methanol. Different sizes enable optimum adaptation to the respective engine size.

The LEWA triplex diaphragm pump offers many advantages as a fuel pump for alternative fuels in marine engines:

  • Compact design
  • Hermetically tight
  • Integrated condition monitoring
  • Highest operational safety due to internal protection
  • Excellent, easy and swift control of flow rate
  • Unlimited dry-run safety
  • Robust and durable design with minimal downtime/maintenance times
  • Best possible efficiency under all operating conditions and in all climate zones
  • Oscillating positive displacement pumps in triplex design have very low pulsation
  • Universally applicable: other fuels can be pumped without modification (flex-fuel ready)
  • The pumps can easily handle particles or mixtures of gas and oil residues in the fuel
  • Worldwide support / service and spare parts on site

LEWA triplex diaphragm pumps meter the following alternative marine fuels, for example:

  • LPG (propane/butane)
  • Ammonia (NH3)
  • Methanol

 

LEWA triplex process pump

Background

Since 2020, it has been no longer permitted for ships powered by heavy fuel oil to enter the so-called ECAs (Emission Control Areas).

These zones were introduced by many countries in order to significantly reduce the emission impact of maritime traffic on the population.

In addition, the IMO (International Marine Organization) has introduced drastic limits for ships. These limits cannot be met by ships powered by heavy fuel oil or can only be met with considerable retrofitting costs.

Dual-fuel engines, which allow the alternative combustion of heavy fuel oil or gases such as LPG, are considered an effective measure for reducing toxic exhaust gases.

LPG is produced during oil and gas exploration and refinery processes. It mainly consists of a mixture of propane and butane. Under normal pressure conditions, this mixture changes to a liquid state from around -20°C and is therefore much easier to transport, store and cool. In addition, the lower carbon content compared to heavy fuel oil means that around 10% less CO2 is produced during combustion.

 

Another alternative solution for the complete elimination of CO2 is attracting more and more attention: the use of ammonia as a fuel for ship engines. When ammonia is burned, only water and nitrogen oxides remain. Nitrogen oxides can be converted using SCR catalytic converters, as in a diesel car. The prerequisite for an environmentally friendly implementation of the ammonia approach is the production of "green ammonia" using renewable energies. However, meeting the total demand poses a major challenge.

Ammonia is highly toxic and harmful to health and the environment, even in very small quantities. Safe process technology and hermetically tight systems are therefore of great importance. 

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