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Yanmar developing hydrogen-fueled 4-stroke engine for zero-emission vessels

Yanmar Power Technology Co., Ltd. (YPT), a subsidiary of Yanmar Holdings Co., Ltd., has begun development of a hydrogen-fueled 4-stroke high-speed engine for power generation for coastal vessels in Japan as part of the Nippon Foundation’s zero-emission ship demonstration experiment.

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Pilot-ignition 6-cylinder hydrogen engine.


In parallel with the hydrogen engine development, YPT will also work on the creation of a hydrogen engine-compatible hybrid electric propulsion vessel, combining hydrogen engine generators with batteries.

This vessel design incorporates a container unit-type hydrogen power generation system on its upper deck. Uyeno TransTech Co., Ltd., a shipping company in the Uyeno Group, will be responsible for the vessel’s development and construction.

To support the transition towards zero emissions in maritime operations, YPT aims to develop a pilot ignition engine that utilizes a small amount of pilot biofuel and hydrogen co-combustion, as well as a spark ignition hydrogen-only engine.

The company plans to commence onshore verification tests in 2024 using a 6-cylinder hydrogen engine with pilot ignition, with the goal of conducting verification operations by 2026. Concurrently, YPT will conduct onshore verification tests using the spark ignition hydrogen-only engine.

By approximately 2030, YPT aims to achieve zero emissions for coastal vessels by promoting the adoption of hydrogen energy-based propulsion systems.

The Zero-Emission Ship Project. The Zero-Emission Ship Project, led by the Nippon Foundation, prioritizes the development of hydrogen-fueled ships to achieve carbon neutrality in the coastal shipping sector by 2050. Through this initiative, YPT aims to pioneer the development of hydrogen-powered vessels and conduct demonstration experiments.

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Rendering of hydrogen fuel engine electric propulsion ship.


As of June 2023, the consortium for this project includes Yanmar Power Technology Co., Ltd. (representative); Uyeno TransTech Co., Ltd.; Kyoto University; Fukuoka Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.; Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.; and
Mirai Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.