Japan’s National Maritime Research Institute (NMRI) and Alfa Laval have succeeded in onboard CO2 capture testing using an exhaust gas cleaning system, also known as a marine scrubber.
One of the opportunities to decarbonise shipping is carbon capture and storage (CCS). The recent testing performed by Alfa Laval and NMRI provided real-world validation of results achieved in the lab.
Alfa Laval’s full scale hybrid scrubber system, PureSOx, was used in the testing phase. The 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.
CCS is a potential bridge technology, offering the possibility to extract carbon from emissions until carbon-neutral fuels become more viable. 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. The modified PureSOx system was able to absorb CO2 from the auxiliary diesel engines in port, while operating in closed loop.
“Both short-term and long-term solutions will be needed to achieve IMO Greenhouse gas emission reduction targets,” said René Diks, head of exhaust gas cleaning systems at Alfa Laval. “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.”