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DOES SHIPPING SEE EMISSION CONTROL IMPOSSIBLE?
Emission control generally falls into two areas: primary being Particulate Matter described as PM10 and PM2.5 and secondary being gaseous. The extensive research into emission control and ‘green’ marine operation from various sources seem to acknowledge that gaseous emissions such as NOx and CO2 are in fact reducing because of changes in technical and logistical elements such as propulsion, biodiesel and other fuel solutions for duel fuel engines, use of alternative materials etc. Alarmingly however the PM10/2.5 are anticipated to increase. With PM2.5 being the most deadly, causing cancer and other harmful diseases, there is a great deal of talk about the problem but little being done to provide a solution.
The methods of emission control used by the shipping industry have, for a number of years, focused on costly dual fuel systems and exhaust scrubbing.
Exhaust scrubbing takes up a large amount of space and outlay costs can be significant. Scrubbing can be effective but only if the apparatus is in very close proximity to the engine exhaust outlet where gas temperatures are at a maximum. Once the exhaust gas has lost its initial high temperature from the combustion chamber, scrubbing or filtering methods become less effective.
In laboratory conditions, with the apparatus close to the engine, good percentages of particulate reduction can be observed. However, scrubbing apparatus is typically installed at some considerable distance from the engine. It then becomes debatable whether the scrubber has any effect at all.
New ships can be designed around this although the actual scrubbing apparatus is of considerable size which also makes retro-fitting impractical.
What we have developed is a programmable computerised system that deals with particulate emission reduction and can be incorporated or retro-fitted to improve the effects of filtering and scrubbing of the exhaust. That is to say, we are enhancing the quality of the fuel causing combustion to be more complete, hence burning the particulates in the combustion chamber.
To do this we have engineered the means to control hydrogen on demand and by doing so we have designed technology that has been proven to reduce Particulate Matter (PM) significantly, reliably and cost effectively. Develop this alongside the methods currently being adopted by shipping to reduce gaseous omissions and we can begin to turn around what can only be described as a losing battle.
It has been recognised for years that the introduction of hydrogen into the combustion chamber of any internal combustion engine has a beneficial effect. Unfortunately hydrogen systems have attracted bad publicity in the past due to false and exaggerated claims but it is well known and widely accepted that the basic technology is sound but control has always been the sticking point.
The effectiveness of our system is neither governed by the distance it is installed from the engine nor by its size. The unit can be easily scaled and retro-fitted to any engine.
Through controlled and fully documented independent tests conducted at the UK government approved facility Millbrook, our system has reduced carcinogenic particulate emissions from an already efficient euro 5 diesel engine by an additional 22%.
Further developing this system alongside the work currently being undertaken by engineers and maintenance operatives in the shipping industry is the next step. We know the benefits of doing so will be huge and we are currently looking for like-minded organisations to make this happen.
So arguably the problem we now face is how to encourage the shipping industry as a whole to take the huge moral and ethical step to reduce the levels of deadly pollution being released into the atmosphere.
Tough new pollution control regulations coming in next year are already deemed to be unfair in some quarters with talk about the difficulty in enforcing these rules, possible corner cutting by some ship operators, rising fuel costs and job losses. And if current technology isn’t going to reduce these deadly carcinogenic emissions how are these regulations going to be met?