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Task 62


Wear in engines using alternative fuels

Purpose and Objectives

Alternative fuels are being intensively introduced in transportation sectors in these years. Special wear caused by these fuels are seen but problems really becomes clear after years of application. In order to prevent major surprises in the future, an overview of foreseen wear issues are compiled in this task.

The purpose with this task is to evaluate excess wear in IC engines caused by application of alternative fuels.

The objectives are to review the ongoing related projects in the member countries in combination with a general literature review in order to evaluate which engine wear problem that can be foreseen with future application of alternative fuels.

The key questions to be addressed are:

  • How severe are the problems associated with application of alternative fuels, and what is the expected increase in engine wear caused by these fuels?
  • What can be done to solve these problems?


Work Package 1: General literature review

Alternative fuels makes up a variety of different fuels. In this study we carry out a general literature review  study, including all relevant alternative fuels. From there we focus on fuels that are relevant in relation to ongoing studies related to marine engine applications in the task involved countries. This implies among others methanol, ammonia and biooils.

In the literature review the available information is compiled and reported in a structured way in order to support future application of alternative fuels.

Work Package 2: Online seminars

Activities related to engine wear are ongoing in the involved AMF countries. These studies will be communicated through presentations from the responsible “activity” persons (or other designated people) at frequent seminars. The activities involved so far are:

Activity 1

Water vapor (H2O) within the cylinder gas can cause critical liner wear. In large two-stroke marine engines the phenomenon is experienced when the engines are charged with moist intake air (e.g. in humid tropical regions). It is also observed when light duty engines burn fuels with high H/C-ratios (resulting in higher H2O vapor concentrations). The risk of water condensation onto the liner surface increases with higher H2O concentrations and the water may contaminate and disrupt the protective oil film. Recent studies have also found that condensing water can yield significantly higher wear rates than condensing sulfuric acid.

The maritime sector is currently focusing on replacing the conventional fossil fuels (Heavy fuel oil and distilled diesel) with sustainable fuels. Specifically, liquid Ammonia (NH3) and methanol (CH3OH) are currently considered. However, in these fuels a much higher share of the calorific value is bonded to hydrogen, compared to diesel. Therefore, these fuels produce significantly more water (H2O). It is therefore crucial to examine and understand the wear issues involved with Ammonia and Methanol combustion.

Over the last years, research at The Technical University of Denmark has involved experimental studies of marine engine cold corrosion using a highly modified and motored light duty engine. Numerous experiments with well defined operating conditions and charge gas compositions have been performed. In this respect, a fast and efficient wear measurement procedure is developed, and a novel technique involving a flush mounted electrode in the liner surface is used to determine the condition of the protective liner oil film.

The aim of this project is to estimate to which extend the liner wear of Ammonia and Methanol combustion exceeds that of diesel and acquire a deeper understanding of the wear process in order to identify potential methods that can be used to avoid excessive liner wear.

Activity 2

In a three-year Business Finland, BioFlex project, VTT and partners are exploring how suitable fuel oils made from biomass and waste plastics are for power plants and ship diesel engines. The aim is to determine the most ecologically and economically sustainable way to replace fossil fuels. The information obtained with relevance to engine wear will be reported.

Work Package 3: Round up of reviews

Based on the general review and the AMF activities, results will be compiled in a task report. The report will include recommendations for future application of the alternative fuels.

Expected Results

Each country will deliver a report or a PP presentation showing their results of the individual findings. Based on a general review and the AMF activities, results will be compiled in a task report, prepared by the task leader.


Project Duration

January 2022 - December 2023


   Task Sharing

   Cost Sharing


Denmark, Finland, Germany


Total Budget

~ EUR 200.000,-

Task Manager

Jesper Schramm 
Technical University of Denmark