Japan’s National Maritime Research Institute (NMRI) successfully captured onboard carbon emissions in a real-world trial using an Alfa Laval scrubber on an unnamed Japanese newbuild vessel
Initiated by NMRI, the CO2 capture testing project used a full-scale hybrid scrubber system to verify results the group had achieved in the lab using an Alfa Laval PureSOx scrubber.
The modified PureSOx system was able to absorb CO2 from the auxiliary diesel engines in port, while operating in closed loop mode.
The unnamed Japanese shipowner associated with the research, who had installed PureSOx for SOx compliance on a newbuild, arranged with Alfa Laval and the shipyard to include the testing in the vessel’s sea trials.
Alfa Laval head of exhaust gas cleaning systems René Diks said “The positive results from our project with NMRI Japan show that scrubber technology could also play a role in removing carbon at sea.”
Japanese research suggests onboard carbon capture systems could reduce emissions from shipping by up to 90% by 2028. The implications of that amount of emissions reduction as owners and operators look to comply with short-term measures for a vessel’s Energy Efficiency Index (EEXI) and Carbon Intensity Index (CII) are clear, and CCS could represent a giant leap forward towards achieving IMO’s 2050 decarbonisation goals.
As a potential bridge technology for the move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, carbon capture and storage (CCS) works to extract carbon from emissions and to deposit them underground or use them to generate emissions-free energy for the grid.
"In a full CCS solution, carbon removed from a vessel’s exhaust gas would be stored away to prevent it from ever entering the atmosphere. For this project, the scope was limited to showing that a scrubber could perform the CO2 capture on board," Alfa Laval explained in its statement.
“Both short-term and long-term solutions will be needed to achieve IMO greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets,” Mr Diks said. “Much development is needed before CCS can be deployed at sea, but this preliminary testing showed clear potential in the approach. Though designed to remove SOx, PureSOx demonstrated its ability to remove CO2 while operating in closed loop.”