Rotoboost reveals first-of-its-kind pre-combustion carbon capture system

Rotoboost, a global hydrogen company based in Norway, has won a new technology qualification designation from the ABS classification society for its pre-combustion carbon capture system based on the thermocatalytic decomposition process.

Image credit: ABS
Image credit: ABS

The technology, described as a first-of-its-kind, allows for continuous hydrogen production and carbon capture onboard marine vessels. The system converts natural gas into hydrogen and solid carbon with a liquid catalyst. The resulting gas can be used for fuel cells or as a blend-in fuel for combustion engines or gas-fired boilers. The process can reduce overall carbon emissions by up to 100 percent depending on the heating method, ABS said.

As disclosed, using hydrogen as a blend-in fuel promises to significantly reduce the methane slip from combustion engines and reduce particulate matter emissions by capturing carbon in solid form before combustion.

“Decomposing methane into hydrogen and solid carbon is an intelligent way to implement a carbon capture and storage (CCS) solution onboard gas-fueled ships. This method reduces the storage need onboard, and the solid carbon can be used in the production of fuel cells and batteries and can be recycled again and again. This technology is one that promises to accelerate the energy transition, supporting global decarbonization goals,” said Georgios Plevrakis, ABS Vice President, Global Sustainability.

“The system can be scaled up modularly step-by-step to meet progressing emission regulations while being cost-effective for ship owners compared to green fuels or conventional carbon capture systems,” said Kaisa Nikulainen, Rotoboost CEO.

Onboard carbon capture is receiving a lot of attention at the moment due to its potential to serve as a bridging solution for vessels that exhaust energy efficiency initiatives but are yet unable to switch to alternative fuels amid limited availability or other challenges.

Various companies are looking into the technology, however, there are numerous barriers for ships using OCC including inadequate port reception infrastructure, low efficiency of the technology as well as its size, and high energy consumption. The regulatory framework is not in place either as type approvals, safety requirements for ships using OCSS as well as EEDI, EEXI and CII calculations for ships using OCCS are yet to be defined.

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