DecarbonICE: New Carbon Capture Project Gains High-Level Traction

DecarbonICE, a project led by former DNV GL head Henrik Madsen with the aim of leading the industry to carbon negative shipping, has garnered support from a number of major players from the industry.

Shipping companies NYK, Sovcomflot, Knutsen OAS and Ardmore, ship builders, including Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, and the mining company Vale, have all teamed up with the Denmark-based Maritime Development Center (MDC) to develop an on-board carbon capture and storage solution that will help the industry achieve the IMO 2050 target of a 50% CO2 emissions reduction compared to the 2008 level.

DecarbonICE is based on two new main ideas for the capture and storage part, respectively. The CO2 and other GHG’s in the ship exhaust are captured on board in a cryogenic process and turned into dry ice.

Proven offshore technology is then applied during normal ship operations to transport the dry ice into the seafloor sediments. Here the CO2 will be safely and permanently stored as liquid CO2 and CO2 hydrate.

The concept is intended for ship newbuildings, but also for retrofitting on existing ships, thereby providing the opportunity to accelerate the transition towards the IMO target. In combination with future carbon neutral fuels like biofuels and electro fuels, the decarbonICE technology can create carbon negative shipping and thus contribute to atmospheric carbon reduction at a significantly lower cost than shore-based carbon capture, according to MDC.

The project started October 1, 2019 and will run through 2020. The aim is to prepare a feasibility study and to initiate the IMO approval process for the technology.

“While we support a final goal of availability of zero carbon or carbon neutral fuels, we believe that a bridging carbon free solution is needed, which can utilize existing assets in terms of ships, propulsion systems and fuels. The decarbonICE project is intended to offer exactly that, and at a predicted low energy penalty well below 10%,” Chairman of the decarbonICE project, former DNVGL President and CEO Henrik O. Madsen, said.

“The maritime industry seems to be overlooking that on-board carbon capture with
subsequent storage at appropriate sites may also qualify as a carbon free solution,” Odin KWON, CTO of DSME, added.

“At DSME we are following several Korean research groups studying the behavior of CO2 injected into seabed sediments. The success of the decarbonICE project will also depend on how the required power can be minimized for the cryogenic cooling process.”