Class acts

Classification societies are becoming increasingly involved in the approval of onboard carbon capture systems

December 8, 2023

Two very different technologies have recently gained classification society approval.

Korean classification society KR has announced the granting of an Approval in Principle (AiP) for an Onboard CO2 Capture System (OCCS) developed by Hanwha Ocean.

According to KR, the onboard carbon capture and storage technology developed by Hanwha Ocean absorbs CO2 generated on board using absorbents and converts it into mineral form. It says that this technology consumes very little energy compared to other CO2 capture technologies, and the amount of additional CO2 generated during its operation is relatively small. Furthermore, KR notes, “its compact design ensures efficiency in implementation.”

KR verified the stability and suitability of the OCCS by reviewing classification rules and domestic and international regulations in collaboration with the Marshall Islands Registry.

Yeon Kyujin, head of KR’s plan approval centre, says: “Currently, the carbon capture and storage technology is expected to contribute a sizeable portion of the total global CO2 reduction, so market demand for this technology is growing. It is meaningful for us to pre-emptively respond to the demand and play a major role in commercialising OCCS technology with this successful AiP.”

Kang Sang-Don, VP and Head of Hanwha Ocean’s Basic Design Department, comments, “The OCCS developed this time will be applied to 174,000 DWT LNG carrier in the future. We will work to strengthen our competitiveness by developing eco-friendly technology that meets the ever-strengthening environmental regulations and the requirements of ship owners.”

Meanwhile Lloyd’s Register (LR) has awarded an AiP to ERMA FIRST for its amine absorption based OCCS system.

It uses absorption technology to mix CO2 flue gases with a proprietary amine solvent which is then heated to produce a chemical reaction which reverses the absorption and separates the CO2 from the solvent. The CO2 from this process is then liquified and stored under cryogenic conditions onboard with the solvent ready to use in the same process again, creating a regenerative loop for CCS.

LR says that with the ability to capture a significant amount of CO2 from exhaust emissions, ship owners and operators will be able to meet and exceed the IMO’s strengthened emission reduction targets, whilst increasing their vessels’ lifecycle.

The AiP, as part of the Risk-Based Certification process, allows ERMA FIRST to proceed with onboard pilot testing of the application.

OCCS feasibility studies

Wärtsilä is offering carbon capture and storage (CCS) feasibility studies to shipowners and operators. The Finland-based technology group says that such studies have already been conducted on a range of vessel types including ro-ro and ro-pax vessels, a drill ship, a container vessel and a gas carrier.

The process takes four to six months of study and design work. Wärtsilä Exhaust Treatment’s experts are involved in ship design at an early stage to conduct engineering work to understand how CCS can be smoothly integrated once the technology is launched to market.

Wärtsilä is conducting the feasibility studies across both new build and existing vessels. It says that retrofit CCS installations will be significantly smoothed by the presence of a scrubber onboard. Wärtsilä Exhaust Treatment is already offering CCS-Ready scrubbers to the market which are integrated onboard in a way that enables a CCS system to be added easily once the technology is commercialised.

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