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Entwicklungszentrum für Schiffstechnik und Transportsysteme e.V.


Motivation and Objective

Motivated by the new limits to carbon emissions (REGULATION (EU) 2016/1628) and type-approval of internal combustion engines for Non-Road Mobile Machineries (Directive 97/68/EC, 01/2017), the RIVER project deals with the development of an Oxy-fuel combustion for Diesel engines in combination with a Carbon Capture & Storage Technology (CCS). The main objective of the project RIVER is to study and develop low-carbon or non-carbon solutions for inland waterway vessels. The idea proposed is to store the separated carbon dioxide under pressure in a tank and then convert it on a laboratory scale at the molecular level into products for further use e.g. in cosmetics and in therapeutics. Within the project, a dedicated test-bed is being developed to investigate the technology. For demonstration, this technology is then implemented and integrated into a small inland water vessel that will be operated in the UK. A feasibility study for a large vessel is carried out during the project. Further, a small-scale lab transforming CO2 into bio-solvent will be developed.

Technical Background in Brief:

The most important part of the powertrain system is the engine, which uses O2 instead of air. CO2 and water without nitrogen and NOx are emitted. By using a condenser, CO2 and water vapour can be easily separated and ensures the CO2 to be ready for utilization or sequestration.

Oxygen and fuel form the so-called oxy-fuel, which is supplied to the Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) diesel engine. The oxygen supplied could be stored on board in a high-pressure oxygen cylinder. Its consumption depends on the operating state of the engine. The stream of exhaust gas will be condensed and then condensed liquid water will be separated. The remaining CO2 will be compressed and stored. This technology is expected to eliminate the NOx emissions and to emit very low levels of particulate emissions.

Project Consortium and DST’s role:

The project includes 9 partners from 5 member states and 5 associated. Partners are experienced in CCS, Oxyfuel engines, treatment of CO2, Engine’s control and Naval Architecture.

The main contribution of DST is the integration of the developed Oxyfuel combustion engine and a CO2 capture and storage system into a small inland waterway vessel. For the ship, suitable basic system configurations are identified, investigated and compared with a common diesel engine approach in terms of required tank capacities (additional weights and volumes), fuel consumptions and mechanical power distribution. A technical concept is elaborated that is suitable for the integration into the considered vessel. A feasibility study for a large vessel is carried out and technical as well as financial barriers are identified. Further, the project benefits from DST’s expertise and existing network with respect to the Inland Waterway Transportation. 

RIVER is part of EU’s Territorial Cooperation programme and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund:


Final results are to be expected by December 2020.

For more information and recent news please visit: https://www.nweurope.eu/projects/project-search/river-non-carbon-river-boat-powered-by-combustion-engines/

Duration: September 2017 – December 2020

Person of contact at DST:
Jens Ley
Klaus Bieker

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    Development Centre for
    Ship Technology and Transport Systems

    Oststr. 77
    47057 Duisburg

    Tel.: +49 (0)203 - 99 36 9 - 0
    Fax: +49 (0)203 - 99 36 9 - 70

    E-Mail: dst@dst-org.de