Hydrogen experiment

Yanmar is working on the development of a Hydrogen-fuelled 4-stroke engine for zero-emission vessels.

17 January 2024


Yanmar Power Technology Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of Yanmar Holdings Co., Ltd., has embarked on the development of a hydrogen-fuelled 4-stroke high-speed engine for power generation for coastal vessels in Japan as part of the Nippon Foundation’s zero emission ship demonstration experiment.

The engine utilises hydrogen as a fuel, emitting no CO2 during combustion.

In parallel with the hydrogen engine development, YPT will also work on the creation of a hydrogen engine-compatible hybrid electric propulsion vessel, combining hydrogen engine generators with batteries. This innovative vessel design incorporates a container unit-type hydrogen power generation system on its upper deck. Uyeno TransTech Co., Ltd., a shipping company in the Uyeno Group, will be responsible for the vessel’s development and construction.

To support the transition towards zero emissions in maritime operations, YPT aims to develop a pilot ignition engine that utilises a small amount of pilot biofuel and hydrogen co-combustion, as well as a spark ignition hydrogen-only engine.


The company plans to commence onshore verification tests in 2024 using a 6-cylinder hydrogen engine with pilot ignition, with the goal of conducting verification operations by 2026. Concurrently, YPT will conduct onshore verification tests using the spark ignition hydrogen-only engine. By approximately 2030, they aim to achieve zero emissions for coastal vessels by promoting the adoption of hydrogen energy-based propulsion systems.

The Zero-Emission Ship Project

The “Zero-Emission Ship Project,” led by the Nippon Foundation, prioritises the development of hydrogen-fueled ships to achieve carbon neutrality in the coastal shipping sector by 2050. Through this initiative, YPT aims to pioneer the development of hydrogen-powered vessels and conduct demonstration experiments.

As of June 2023, the consortium for this project includes:
Yanmar Power Technology Co., Ltd. (representative)
Uyeno TransTech Co., Ltd
Kyoto University
Fukuoka Shipbuilding Co., Ltd
Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding Co., Ltd
Mirai Shipbuilding Co., Ltd

YPT’s endeavor aligns with the organization’s commitment to advancing sustainable marine operations and showcases their dedication to developing cutting-edge technologies for the future of the maritime industry.


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