The use of low sulfur content fuel in marine applications has attracted significant coverage over recent years, but alternatives are emerging. That is the message from Hamworthy Krystallon, one of the new players in the marine exhaust sulfur emissions reduction sector.

The new company is a result of Hamworthy’s recent acquisition of Krystallon Ltd., which was one of the pioneers of gas scrubber development as a commercially viable alternative to low
sulfur content distillates, to comply with International Maritime Organization (IMO) MARPOL Annex VI regulations on emissions.

The claim comes as Hamworthy Krystallon became what is believed to be the first non-North American-based company to be awarded accreditation by the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) as a manufacturer of an “emerging technology” that has the capability to reduce marine particulate matter (PM) emissions.

The addition of Hamworthy Krystallon to the U.S. National Clean Diesel Campaign’s Emerging Technologies list follows an announcement by the EPA in late December 2009 that U.S.-
registered vessels must achieve emission reduction targets by using cleaner fuels or alternative means such as exhaust gas cleaning, also known as scrubbing. Over the past four years, Krystallon has supplied two shipboard and two onshore gas scrubbing systems capable of cutting sulfur emissions from plants burning residual fuel oil with a sulfur content of 3.5% by as much as 98%.

Hamworthy Krystallon’s scrubber system is an open-loop design that neutralizes scrubbed acid gasses. It uses the carbonate/bicarbonate naturally occurring in seawater. Fitted into the ship’s funnel space, the unit can be operated at temperatures of up to 450°C. Initially trialed onboard the P&O ferry Pride of Kent, the Krystallon solution was also installed on the Holland
America Lines cruise ship Zaandam and as part of onshore plants in Greece and Japan. The technology can be applied to scrub the exhaust from both two- and four-stroke engines, as well as boiler systems.

The delivered units have worked in combination with diesel engines in the 1 to 8 MW power range, but Krystallon has developed designs to work with engines of up to 67 MW. According to Hamworthy, trials and operations of Krystallon’s plant were material to IMO sanctioning gas scrubbers as a permissible alternative to low sulfur marine distillate fuel to meet its emissions targets.

“While low sulfur content fuel had attracted wide attention, gas scrubbing has now proved itself as a workable, lower-cost alternative,” said Hamworthy Krystallon Managing Director Sigurd
Jenssen. He claimed that as well as eliminating almost all sulfur emissions, gas scrubbing cut particulate emissions by up to 80%. Hamworthy Krystallon will be part of the Inert Gas Systems division of Hamworthy. Hamworthy employs around 1000 people worldwide and is headquartered in Poole, England.


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