Document Type

Article Open Access

Publication Date


Journal Title

Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part M: Journal of Engineering for the Maritime Environment

Volume Number

Pre Press



The potential of three molecules NH4NO2, H2O2, and O3 to ignite aqueous solutions of ammonia (25% by mass) as fuel, was investigated using chemical kinetic simulations at conditions representative of a two-stroke marine diesel engine. The purpose was to address two of the most prominent issues with making ammonia a practical fuel for marine applications: the difficulty of igniting ammonia, and the safety concerns regarding its volatility and toxicity. The ignition simulations carried out to this end used a two-zone reactor model of the engine, representing the ignition zone into which fuel was injected, and the bulk cylinder gases, respectively. The results suggested that all three ignition improving molecules were able to ignite aqueous ammonia reliably and at high combustion efficiency with acceptable levels of NO, N2O and NH3 emissions. Among the three fuel formulations investigated, H2O2 in 12% aqueous solution by mass, promised the lowest emissions of NO and N2O in the exhaust gases. This fuel blend added in a mole fraction of 0.15 to 0.85 aqueous ammonia at 25% by mass and promised to be the most practical solution, since it is stable and can be stored safely in a separate tank until injected into the engine.