CO2 absorber for oil tankers: innovation in hydrocarbon transportation
Абсорбер CO2 для нефтяных танкеров
A consortium of shipping organisations led by the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) has received approval in principle from the American Bureau of Shipping to use a carbon capture system onboard an oil tanker.

The approval from the regulator governing ship certification in the United States kicks off the second phase of Project REMARCCABLE, which aims to develop CO2 capture, utilisation and sequestration (CCUS) technologies for the purposes of maritime shipping.

The first phase of the Project involved conceptual design and a front-end engineering design (FEED) study of the CO2 capture system for marine vessels. The second phase envisages the creation of a prototype unit and onshore commissioning. Finally, the third phase will involve the system being installed on an MR oil tanker in order to conduct tests with an overall duration of 500 hours, in the course of which CO2 will be captured, liquefied and offloaded at ports along the route of the sea voyage. The results of these tests might arouse great interest in the industry, given that MR tankers (which have a deadweight of 25,000 tons to 79,900 tons) are among the top four types of vessels for oil transportation along with VLCC tankers (deadweight of 200,000 tons to 320,000 tons), Suezmax tankers (160,000 tons) and Aframax tankers (80,000 tons to 120,000 tons).

The Project will expand the range of innovations aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of maritime shipping. Qiyao Environ Tec, a subsidiary of Shanghai Marine Diesel Engine Research Institute, earlier created a unit capable of absorbing up to 85% of carbon dioxide produced during the combustion of marine fuel. The CO2 capture process includes several phases: first, carbon dioxide is fed into an absorption unit, which is filled with an amine-based solution that sucks up the carbon dioxide. Then, the liquid saturated with carbon dioxide enters a gas separation column where CO2 is desorbed under a high temperature. Finally, during the last phase, the extracted carbon dioxide gets compressed, purified and cooled to a liquid that can be stored in a low-temperature tank.

Maritime shipping is the third-biggest source of emissions in the transport sector. According to McKinsey, it produces 11% of CO2 emissions in this sector of the global economy, whereas motor, air and railroad transportation account for 75%, 13% and 1% of emissions respectively.


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March 2023