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PureteQ Maritime Turbo Scrubber

PureteQ Maritime Turbo Scrubber is a high-tech scrubber system for the purification of flue gas from maritime engines and boilers. Hydrodynamic fluid distribution ensures optimal absorption of sulfuric acid and particles.

PureteQ has developed, manufactured and patented an entirely new scrubber system for the purification of flue gas. With its hydrodynamic fluid distribution system, the PureteQ Maritime Turbo Scrubber outperforms most traditional scrubber systems in terms of weight, efficiency and build-in options.

A specially designed turbo quench allows for rapid and efficient cooling of exhaust gas prior to SOx removal, while temperature is reduced by more than 75% in less than 0.3s.

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Maritime Turbo Scrubber


New legislation, which comes into force from January 1, 2015, requires that all ships in the ECA region must use fuels with 0.1% sulfur content or use alternative methods to achieve the same effect on SOx emissions. 

PureteQ Maritime Turbo Scrubber technology is a commercially attractive alternative to costly low-sulfur-content distillates - and complies with IMO and EU emissions legislation.

The marine industry is now facing the challenge of adopting new technologies and/or operational practices to comply with stricter international, national and local regulations introduced to reduce shipping-related emissions. The adverse effects from internal combustion engines and boiler exhaust gases on human beings and sensitive ecosystems have been well documented by the scientific community.

The objective of regulations introduced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the European Union (EU), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is to reduce the contribution shipping makes to global and local emissions.

One critical measure set out within this legislation is to reduce sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions from inherently sulfur-rich marine fuels. The Protocol of 1997 (MARPOL Annex VI) was adapted in 2005 as detailed in resolution MEPC 184(59). On January 1, 2015, the EU Sulphur Directive 2012/33/EU will bring about a major reduction in shipping-related sulfur dioxide emissions, which will heavily influence shipping in northern Europe. The Directive will require ships sailing in the English Channel, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea (the North European emission control area) to use bunker oil with a maximum sulfur content of 0.1% or use alternative methods to achieve the same effect.

In the coastal waters of North America and Canada, this legislation has been in place for some time. Some areas may also be required to comply with national or regional regulations, and it is still not clear where open loop and closed loop scrubbers may be used. The currently established ECA areas are:

  • Baltic Sea – as defined in Annex I of MARPOL (SOx only);
  • North Sea – as defined in Annex V of MARPOL (SOx only);
  • North America, including most of the US and Canadian coastline – as defined in Appendix VII of Annex VI of MARPOL (SOx, NOx and PM); and
  • United States Caribbean Sea, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands – as defined in Appendix VII of Annex VI of MARPOL (SOx, NOx and PM).

Further ECA areas presently being discussed are shown below.

In October 2008, the 58th IMO MEPC session adopted significant changes to Annex VI under Resolution MEPC 176(58). This introduced a reduction in the global sulfur fuel limit to 3.5 percent from January 1, 2012, with a further global reduction to 0.5 percent from January 1, 2020. The 2020 implementation date is to be reviewed in 2018, to assess the availability of fuel oil to meet the 0.5 percent limit. This review will determine whether the implementation date is to be extended to 2025 at the latest.

Ship designers, owners and operators have three general routes to achieving SOx regulatory compliance:

  1. Use low-sulfur residual or distillate marine fuels in existing machinery
  2. Install new machinery (or convert existing machinery where possible) designed to operate on an inherently low-sulfur alternative fuel, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG)
  3. Install an exhaust gas cleaning (EGC) after-treatment system.

There is some speculation among experts that the price differential between HFO and low-sulfur distillates such as MGO will become even greater, as demand for HFO decreases as a result of increasing demand for MGO on and after January 2015.

There are presently not enough land-based LNG facilities/filling stations to support a greater number of LNG-powered ships. Furthermore, there is some uncertainty about how gas prices will develop in the future and who should pay for the necessary infrastructure. It is also the case that these types of installations have a much greater footprint than other solutions.

Wet scrubbers are a well-proven technology within land-based industries as well as inert gas systems installed on chemical tankers. However, the installation of vessel-based EGS systems has only recently begun to rise. Vessels that operate more than 50% of the time within an ECA area should consider evaluating the feasibility of installing an EGC system.

The PureteQ Maritime Turbo Scrubber offers an economical, feasible solution to reducing SOx emissions and reducing particulate matter (PMs) for the benefit of the environment.