Successful CO2 capture tests with scrubbers on cargo ships

Langh Tech tested carbon capture with the scrubbers installed on a Langh Shipping.

Posted on Dec 16, 2021 8:16 PM by

The maritime executive

Finland’s Langh Tech is the youngest company to report successful early attempts at carbon capture and storage on a ship in normal operation. Viewed as a potential technology to meet the shipping industry‘s needs for systems that will help existing ships meet decarbonization goals, research into the requirements that will enable CCS at sea is just beginning.

“Langh Tech conducted several preliminary tests to capture CO2 emitted by a ship’s main engine using an existing closed SOx scrubber system,” the company said of the project. “Langh Tech is also researching methods of extracting the captured CO2 from the process water and is looking for ways to efficiently store and / or use the captured CO2 both on board ships and in the event of a possible discharge on land.”

The company that designs and manufactures exhaust gas scrubbers reports that the tests were conducted on board one of its sister companies, Langh Shipping’s ships, using Langh Tech’s existing hybrid scrubber on board. Langh Tech’s closed-loop scrubbers were installed in 2013 and 2014 on Langh Ship’s five cargo ships, which operate in the Baltic and North Seas and stop at major northern European ports.

In the tests, additional alkali was added to the closed-loop scrubber process water to provoke a reaction between the alkali and CO2, effectively trapping the CO2 from the exhaust gas into the process water. Langh says that the experimental set-up was limited by the capacity of the existing alkali pump, but positive results were observed with only a slight increase in the alkali dosage. With a main engine load of approx. 85 percent, increasing the alkali dosage by 5 percent (above the normal value) reduced the measured CO2 emissions by 3.3 percent. At 40 percent main engine load, a reduction in CO2 emissions of almost 7 percent was observed.

During the tests, the alkali consumption remained at “an acceptable level and the effect on the operating costs of the ship would be feasible,” reports Langh. “The results of the tests serve as a provisional proof of concept and are checked by additional tests with a further increase in the amount of alkali.”

The company believes that the carbon capture function could be applied to any Langh Tech closed or hybrid scrubber systems with relatively low cost effects and requiring only minor changes to the existing scrubber system. The process could be carried out with readily available alkali products such as NaOH and MgOH2, both of which are already used in many SOx scrubbing processes.

About Christine Geisler

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