New Environmental Regulations Call for Innovative, Sustainable Solutions
Global marine supplier Alfa Laval now offers a set of sustainable solutions designed to help ship owners and operators comply with current and pending environmental regulations. Grouped under the conceptual name “Pure thinking”, the products will provide security as existing legislation is tightened, as well as compliance with new laws such as those that will regulate ballast water treatment.
While most of the solutions can be retrofitted, incorporating them at the newbuilding stage will contribute to gaining DNV’s Clean Design class notation for the vessel under construction.
“Long service at sea has given us a deep understanding of the marine environment and demands on the industry. We are committed to efficient solutions that save energy and support ship owners and operators in meeting environmental regulations,” says Joakim Thölin, Vice President, Alfa Laval Marine & Diesel Equipment.
Alfa Laval’s “pure thinking” product range comprises: the PureSOx exhaust gas cleaning system; the PureDry separator for recovering re-usable fuel from waste oil (waste fuel recovery); the PureBilge oily water separator for bilge water treatment; PureBallast for ballast water treatment; and PureVent for crankcase gas cleaning. Currently at the prototype the stage is the PureNOx water treatment system, a central component of the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system being developed by large bore marine engine builder MAN Diesel & Turbo.
PureSOx – the clock is ticking!
With bunker fuel oil already accounting for as much as 60% of a vessel’s operating costs, the marine industry is starting to realize the full impact of what will happen on January 1, 2015. From this date, permissible emissions of sulphur dioxide in the ECAs will be reduced to 0.1%.
The simplest way for ship owners and operators to comply with the new regulation is to switch from burning heavy fuel oil (HFO) to low sulphur marine gas oil (MGO). However, this will mean a huge increase in the fuel bill and painful uncertainty regarding future fuel costs.
A viable alternative is to install an exhaust gas cleaning system and run on HFO. Installing such a system poses no problems at the newbuilding stage and retrofitting is possible in many existing vessels.
With a cleaning performance down to 0.1% sulphur or less, Alfa Laval’s PureSOx, is the first multiple inlet system on the market, i.e., it can be configured to utilize just one scrubber to clean the exhaust gases for the main as well as the auxiliary engines.
PureSOx can operate on either sea water or fresh water. The ability to operate the system in sea water mode provides savings on caustic soda and fresh water consumption. In areas with low alkalinity the system will switch to fresh water mode. In this mode the water used for cleaning the exhaust gas is circulated in a closed system with no discharge to the environment. Alfa Laval high speed separation technology is used to clean the effluent to ensure compliance with water discharge criteria.
“The clock is ticking,” says Alfa Laval. “Ship owners need to consider their options carefully, while there’s still time.”
Recovering waste fuel with PureDry
According to MARPOL rule MEPC.1/Circ.642, since 2008 it has been permitted to recover and re-use the HFO fraction of waste fuel oil as fuel for the diesel engines. This was one of the drivers for Alfa Laval’s development of the PureDry separator and the waste fuel recovery (WFR) concept. Another driver was MARPOL Annex VI (air emissions). This prohibits incineration of oily wastes in ECA areas, therefore fewer owners will be installing incinerators and even larger waste oil tanks will be required.
PureDry is a highly innovative high-speed separator with the capability to recover re-usable fuel from waste fuel oil, a process which requires separate tanks for waste fuel oil and waste lube oil. Described by Alfa Laval as the first truly successful technology for waste oil treatment, PureDry recovers the fuel oil from the oily water in the waste fuel oil tank, which is returned to the fuel oil bunker tank for re-use after normal treatment. The result is a reduction of up to 2% in the total volume of fuel oil consumed and a corresponding reduction in the ship’s fuel bill.
The process reduces the volume of waste oil by 99%, producing 5-15 kg per day of non-pumpable “super-dry” solids that can be landed as dry waste, thus eliminating waste oil disposal costs. The separated water, now with an oil content of less than 1,000 ppm, is pumped to the bilge water system. A second PureDry can be installed to treat lube oil and other waste oil streams.
PureDry in combination with Alfa Laval’s PureBilge system forms an optimal, integrated waste oil/bilge water treatment solution that dries up all oily waste onboard.
PureBilge – first with DNV 5 ppm type approval
For bilge water, the DNV Clean Design class notation stipulates a maximum of 5 ppm of oil remaining in the water after treatment, prior to pumping overboard. Although MARPOL regulations still stipulate 15 ppm, future legislation is expected to reduce the limit to 5 ppm. In 2011, DNV introduced a 5 ppm type approval process for marine bilge water separators. The first to be certified was PureBilge from Alfa Laval.
PureBilge is the only system on the market that provides cleaning performance in real life conditions of 0-5 ppm oil content in the water without chemicals, adsorption filter or membranes. This performance is unaffected by sea heave, oil shocks or high solids loading, and no backflushing is required.
The PureBilge system offers the full automation and remote control that will be required by the unmanned engine rooms of the future and is supplied with the fully integrated tamper-proof BlueBox Bilge Data Recorder. In combination with PureBilge’s certified performance, the result is assured compliance with current and future legislation.
PureBallast – a way to future-proof ship operation
Shipyards and ship owners now purchasing, installing and commissioning ballast water treatment systems will be the ones best prepared for 2016, when the IMO Ballast Water Convention mandates that all ships in service must use ballast water treatment.
Now in its second generation, Alfa Laval’s PureBallast is an easy-to-use ballast water treatment system with full type approval and a proven track record at sea. Offering green operation without chemicals, toxic residue or other safety hazards, it neutralizes the microscopic organisms that are generally taken in with ballast water. This eliminates the threat of biological invasions when water from one part of the world is released in another.
Alfa Laval is a market-leading provider of solutions which, integrated into the designs of virtually all ship types, help ship owners and operators comply with increasingly stringent local and global environmental regulations. Like other Alfa Laval solutions, PureBallast is the result of continuous product development and extensive experience gained from cooperation with shipyards throughout the world.
PureVent helps cope with emission regulations
Launched in 2007, PureVent is a compact centrifugal separator patented by Alfa Laval and developed in cooperation with engine builder Wärtsilä in response to increasing focus on emissions containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs), i.e., airborne pollution in the form of oil and particulate contaminated mist or vapour. The unit is designed for cleaning of oil mist released from crankcase and turbocharger lubrication ventilation.
PureVent eliminates oil mist and protects the environment with no negative effects on engine performance. In fact, it allows the recirculation of collected oil as lubrication (or drained off for incineration or deposit), which helps to reduce overall oil consumption.
By using centrifugal separation instead of filters, PureVent returns virtually oil-free air, which can then be released into the atmosphere, without creating waste for disposal.
Pure NOx – meeting NOx emission limits
Air pollution limits in Emission Control Areas (ECAs) with more stringent NOx emissions requirements will become a reality in 2016 for all new engines. In effect it will mean a reduction of 80 percent in NOx emissions from the existing IMO emission Tier I standard to the new Tier III standard.
The Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system under development by MAN Diesel & Turbo will make it possible to clean nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from marine diesel engines. Inside the EGR system is Alfa Laval’s PureNOx water treatment system, currently at the prototype stage.
The PureNOx water treatment system is compact with a small footprint, it is simple to install and can be operated at very low engine loads. PureNOx reduces maintenance costs for the EGR scrubber system and results in smaller waste volumes for onshore disposal. The system has the potential to be the NOx abatement frontrunner in terms of both technology and economic viability.
Alfa Laval points out that when choosing systems and equipment, it pays to work with a supplier that can offer a well-developed global network that puts harbour support, technical assistance, onboard service and genuine spare parts within easy reach.
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, September 20, 2012; Images: alfalaval