Ecospray, a specialist in creating sustainable solutions for the maritime sector headquartered in Italy, has launched three carbon capture innovations for ships, the company revealed on June 15.
The company aims to help the shipping sector reduce emissions by utilising amines, calcium hydroxide and molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFC).
On-board trials for the two absorption technologies that use chemicals will take place by the end of this year, with the next phase planned for 2023. As for the MCFC technologies, the firm expects to have the prototypes ready by the end of 2022, with a view to begin on-board testing next year, said Maurizio Archetti, the Ecospray president.
“At the heart of everything is our belief that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to reducing emissions. Studied and developed in collaboration with leading universities and research centres – the Department of Civil, Chemical and Environmental Engineering of the University of Genoa for the fuel cells, the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Turin for the carbon capture technologies using amines and calcium hydroxide – each of our three technologies, which are at different stages of development, can be implemented in other contexts.
“Factors such as the size and type of ship, the route it sails and the space available on board have a major effect on the scope of application,” Archetti explained.
CCS systems can be practical solutions for companies in preventing cost increases following the introduction of anti-emissions taxes, added Archetti.
Scope for Application
The absorption of CO2 using amines is the first technology that can be implemented, both in terms of readiness and with regard to the potential sectors applied. Already a well-established approach in other industries, Ecospray has rendered it usable for the shipping sector. The reliability of this method and the non-hazardous nature of the chemicals are its most significant advantages, stated Ecospray’s press release.
Archetti said calcium hydroxide appears to be the best technology at present due to the capital required for application. This system requires space for the bulk storage of the chemical reagent on board, but not that of the CO2 itself: it is, therefore, ideal for installations on bulk carrier ships.
Technologies based on Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells (MCFC) enable the capture of CO2 at the same time as energy production. Therefore, these technologies are considered strategic in the energy transition context, precisely due to their capacity to capture the carbon dioxide in exhaust fumes and generate additional clean energy.
Although seemingly the most technologically complex solution, MCFC could guarantee the best results in terms of reductions in emissions, as well as keeping operating expenses low for companies. The ideal application for these technologies is not limited to a particular type of ship: they can be used on all types of engines (2-stroke and 4-stroke) and with all fuels, HFO / LNG.