PortXL Alumni Start-Up Feature
An interview with Rob Verhoof, CEO of Njord Power
As the European nitrogen emission limits are threatening to stop over 18000 building projects in The Netherlands right now, with protests in The Hague every week, it would be opportune to indicate that Njord Power offers a tested additive to reduce NOx emissions from diesel as well as petrol driven engines right away by over 50%.
Njord Power provides solutions for reducing emissions through fuel savings. We’ve been in the fuel filtration business for about 10 years with our sister company Njord Filtration. We address the issue of emissions before they come out of the engine, by focusing on Diesel engines’ “diet”. Our solution has a two-pronged effect: fuel savings for the owners and reduced emissions for the benefit of the environment: everyone is a winner!
We started Njord Power because of a combination of factors. Firstly, diesel is not a nice word to talk about – we had a meeting with the professor mentoring the student we work with and he talked for hours about hydrogen and solar power and once he asked us what we were there for, he was not amused when I said the “dirty” word. However, until renewables take over, diesel will continue to be utilized and we should all aim to make it as clean as possible while that is the case.
Secondly, we got inspired by Shell’s Gas to Liquid cleaner diesel and their very interesting claims regarding soot and Nitrogen Oxides (NOx). Therefore, we thought to optimize the regular diesel before it goes into the engine and have less to clean up afterwards, in layman’s terms.
In technical terms, we clean regular diesel, taking over 99% of the particles over 4 micron out (for reference – 1 micron is 1 millionth of a meter, Ed.), making the fuel burn cleaner and registering fuel savings of 3 to 7%, soot reduction of 50% and NOx levels equal to those of a clean engine.
The journey so far
Njord Power started out in 2017, initially with the aim of just cleaning fuel but we saw there was no effect on NOx emissions. This is why we looked at what could be done on the pre-treatment side and found only expensive solutions by other companies. We took the one that was – in our opinion – best suited, adding water to fuel. Currently we are working with a graduate student from TU Delft and with Van Oord and the Dutch Navy to test the water addition.
First results show a 60-70% reduction of NOx at 50-75% of power. Our target is to make this very accessible to shipowners.
We utilize a powerful additive to optimise the fuel and offering this to our customers. Our starting solution coupled with the water addition and the aforementioned additive make up our pre-treatment.
The next step was to develop software to optimize fuel consumption for sailing, which brought the total fuel savings to 10% – a much more significant figure.
In December 2017 we ran tests with Van Oord, which resulted in a 6.5% fuel saving and a 53% reduction in soot emissions – with the latter tests being ran by fellow PortXL Alumni GreenSeaGuard, who use high-end gas analyser.
Maritime aside, we are also lining up tests with trucks, we have two companies interested and we are waiting for them to release the trucks to us for tests.
With Vopak we tested with jet fuel – as they do provide the storage for it – because our solution is applicable for airlines too. Airports are making significant improvements by introducing electric ground transport vehicles, but 95% of the airport-related emissions are coming from the planes flown by the airlines!
Furthermore, Vopak wants us to install on some locomotives as they are leasing about 10 of them from another company to transport liquids.
This year our focus is on the after-treatment, which is an expensive proposition. We are working with one European company for the soot reduction and we co-operate with another one for NOx reduction with the aim of being able to offer a complete unit at a much more competitive price.
In addition to that, engine controller optimisation (ECU) will be offered to ships, trains, trucks and buses to aid in optimising consumption and emissions.
Technologically I believe we are on the right track and doing the right thing with the one-stop shop concept so people can pick and choose what they want – they can take the whole solution or just the Euro saving part or the emission reducing parts.
By the end of the year, we aim to deliver the complete solution with the final goal to become a one-stop shop for clean emissions and fuel savings!
1 – https://www.shell.com/energy-and-innovation/natural-gas/gas-to-liquids.html