Proposed research for the capture and use of CO2 emissions from ships

Driven by the general desire to take action to assist in reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases, methodologies are being looked at that might be suitable to reduce shipping emissions. 


Research undertaken in Germany by ZSW, Germany’s Center for Solar Energy & Hydrogen Research, relating to methodologies for the conversion of CO2, is thought to be suitable for further investigation into how it can be put to use in the shipping industry. 


Basically, ships may be able to use the CO2 that they produce from burning fossil fuel to manufacture their own supply of the ultra low sulphur fuel that will be required for in- port usage in the EU (and perhaps elsewhere) in 2010.


As an example of one option: CO2 from the ship’s exhaust might be captured and mixed with hydrogen to make methanol. This could be stored on board and used when the ship is in port through the use of dual fuel capabilities.


During a lengthy meeting on this week at Chalmers University's Department of Shipping and Marine Technology in Gothenburg, a brainstorming meeting discussed a number of diverse ideas to see how they might be developed by furthering current research work and thereby developing effective schemes that could be applied to shipboard operations. 


The outcome of the meeting - described as “most encouraging” by INTERTANKO’s Consultant Dr Tim Gunner who was present - was the development of plans for further investigation, for practical modification of current methodology, and for the creation of a basis to seek research funds to develop the most promising methodology for shipping usage. 


Contact: Timothy Gunner or Dragos Rauta