A CONSORTIUM of Finnish research organisations and companies are developing new systems for clean and efficient marine and off-road transport.

The project is expected to run until early 2023 on a funding grant of €7.9 million from Business Finland, the Finnish government’s organisation for innovation funding.

Led by the University of Vaasa, the Clean Propulsion Technologies project addresses tightening emissions legislation and ways by which new technologies can be employed to create sustainable propulsion systems.

The most significant technological aspects of the anticipated project outcome are a ground-breaking medium-speed engine working in fuel-flexible Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) mode, the further development of dual-fuel engine technology to enable a drastic reduction in methane emissions at low and partial load, selective catalytic reduction (SCR) control technology improvements, and the development of machine learning control technology for greater accuracy in engine automation and control.

The research will further focus on developments in advanced after-treatment measures aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20%. Designing and implementing an optimal predictive powertrain control architecture for hybrid propulsion is also on the agenda.

University of Vaasa associate professor Maciej Mikulski said the common goal is to secure the Finnish powertrain industry’s position as a global technology leader by creating a common vision and sustainable business systems.

“Wärtsilä is a leading powertrain equipment manufacturer and their expertise, supported and strengthened by that of the other project partners, will play an important role in tackling growing global competition,” he said.

Wärtsilä Marine Power director, research and development and engineering Juha Kytölä said a decarbonised future is essential for the marine industry.

“This project will help us in this by developing concepts, together with other technology leaders, that will make propulsion even more sustainable than it is today,” Mr Kytölä said.

The Clean Propulsion Technologies project will promote efforts to develop promising, innovative powertrain technologies for new products. These developments will be aimed at ensuring compliance with emission and greenhouse gas regulations in the marine and off-road transport segments by 2035. In the longer-term, the goal is to develop a technological roadmap for compliance with the IMO’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction target by 2050.

In addition to the University of Vaasa and Wärtsilä, the other project partners are Aalto University, Åbo Akademi University, Tampere University, VTT Research Centre of Finland, Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology, AGCO Power, Meyer Turku, Napa, Dinex Finland, Geyser Batteries, Proventia, Bosch Rexroth, and APUGenius.