Yara Marine’s X program selects aluminum-air battery tech

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Yara Marine Technologies, which started its Yara Marine X program in September last year, has announced a winner, Phoenician Energy.

“Phoenician Energy’s use of aluminum-air battery technology for the maritime industry triggered our scientists’ curiosity. Their container battery is especially interesting. The concept taps in to several recent trends and developments, such as circular economy and electrification of marine vessels. We believe this technology may have an important role to play in a greener maritime industry for future generations,” said Thomas Koniordos, CEO of Yara Marine Technologies.

Phoenician Energy licenses aluminum-air battery technology and adapts it to marine applications. The company has developed a 4.8MWh system enclosed in a 6m shipping container.

Jesper Hellström, Yara Marine’s head of research and development, highlighted, “Charging an Al-air battery actually happens at an aluminum production plant. You may say that the battery consumes aluminum, the most abundant metal in Earth’s crust. Furthermore, the alumina generated from the aluminum in the battery, as it depletes, is a valued commodity. The alumina can be recycled back to aluminum at the aluminum plant, but it also has uses in other industries. Together with Yara Marine Technologies, Phoenician Energy will move into its next phase.”

“Al-air batteries have one of the highest energy densities of all batteries, with more than four times the capacity of the conventional lithium-ion battery,” added Udi Erell, founder and president at Phoenician Energy. “Higher density means that longer ranges can be achieved, and a smaller footprint means more space for revenue-producing cargo. In addition, we do not recharge our system on board; instead, we replace it with a fully charged one, eliminating downtime that would be required for recharging conventional batteries. The consumed battery is then re-equipped with new aluminum and it is ready to go another turn. Furthermore, Aluminum-air batteries do not lose capacity when not in use, nor do they degrade over time. They are also inherently safe, with no danger of temperature runaway.”

Phoenician Energy will be the first startup to enter the Yara Marine X six-month program, after which Yara Marine Technologies may choose to invest in the company and its technology.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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