Pilot projects exploring the possibility of using carbon capture technology on board ships are making strong progress towards providing an essential tool for decarbonization. While some industry experts have questioned the feasibility of using CO2 capture on board ships, early tests show success with the potential for the technology to be commercially available in two or three barely years old.
The first test of using carbon capture on an operating vessel reports that they were successful in separating and capturing CO2 from the exhaust gases emitted in service by a coal transporter operated by Japan’s Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha ( “K” line) for Tohoku Electric Power Company. In August 2021, the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding partnership installed a small-scale CO2 capture plant aboard a five-year-old 88,715 dwt bulk carrier, the Corona utility.
Initially, experts from Mitsubishi Shipbuilding were on board the ship to operate, maintain the plant, and instruct the ship’s crew on how to operate it. They also measured, analyzed the captured CO2 and evaluated the performance of the system. From mid-September, the ship’s crew carried out operations, measurements and maintenance of the plant. They will continue to assess the safety and operability of the CO2 capture plant to determine future issues to consider and conduct research and development for the potential commercialization of the technology.
“K” Line and Mitsubishi have reported that the system is performing as expected. Their measurements showed that the captured CO2 had a purity of over 99.9%. They believe the captured CO2 can be reused for a wide range of applications, including chemical processes to improve fertilizer or methanol production, general use such as dry ice for cooling, and improved oil recovery. to increase crude oil production.
The companies believe the results improve the potential for practical applications of marine systems. They plan to continue their research and development efforts.
Wärtsilä and Solvang
As part of a separate development for carbon capture technology, Wärtsilä Exhaust Treatment and Solvang ASA, a Norwegian shipping company, also agreed on a pilot facility for the large-scale modernization of a capture and storage system. of carbon on one of Solvang’s ethylene transporters. Wärtsilä will design the modernized unit while completing a 1 MW terrestrial test system. The land unit will be completed in the fall of 2021, and the companies plan to modernize the pilot system on the 21,000 m3 Eos mower by 2023.
“Carbon capture and storage is an exciting development that we are proud to support, and we strongly believe that this technology could be an important key to decarbonizing the global fleet on the high seas,” said Edvin Endresen, CEO of Solvang ASA.
The Eos mower is a two year old vessel operating under a time chartered by Marubeni Corp. from Japan. Marubeni will cooperate with Solvang and Wärtsilä to enable the proper testing and installation of equipment on the ship.
“Joining forces with Solvang to build and modernize a commercially viable CCS technology demonstrates to the industry that we are only two or three years away from bringing to market yet another essential tool in the decarbonization toolbox. shipping, ”said Sigurd Jenssen, Director of Wärtsilä Exhaust Treatment. “Our earth test unit is almost complete, and then we’ll move on to making it a reality on the Eos mower. “
In addition to the project with Solvang and the scale-up of its Moss CCS test unit, Wärtsilä recently announced its partnership with the LINCCS consortium to scale and create carbon capture technologies and infrastructure. The consortium recently received over $ 13 million in research and development funding from CCS.