On 1 January 2020, a new limit on the sulphur content in the fuel oil used on board ships came into force, marking a significant milestone to improve air quality, preserve the environment and protect human health.

Known as “IMO 2020”, the rule limits the sulphur in the fuel oil used on board ships operating outside designated emission control areas to 0.50% m/m (mass by mass) - a significant reduction from the previous limit of 3.5%. Within specific designated emission control areas the limits were already stricter (0.10%). This new limit was made compulsory following an amendment to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

The resulting reduction in sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions from ships is having major health and environmental benefits for the world, particularly for populations living close to ports and coasts. Sulphur oxides are harmful to human health, causing respiratory, cardiovascular and lung disease. Once released in the atmosphere, SOx  can lead to acid rain, which impacts crops, forests and aquatic species and contributes to the acidification of the oceans.

Many shipping companies have switched to Low Sulphur HFO in order to attempt to comply with IMO rules. Unfortunately, the low sulphur has had a disastrous effect on many ships’ engines and failures have resulted causing massive problems. This is likely due to the reduced natural lubricity of low sulphur HFO compared to traditional HFO.

ElimiNOX is gathering interest from Governments in several countries, and major Oil companies, by working to reduce carbon emissions in all forms of transport.
From Shipping, Coal and Oil-Fired Power Stations, to all forms of diesel engines, ElimiNox has recorded impressive results gained from incorporating the technology of SulNox Group Plc.

The use of Heavy Fuel Oils (HFO) in industry today

Heavy fuel oils (HFO) are used in industry and the marine sector and are the principle fuel source that has accompanied the worldwide growth in shipping from the latter half
of the 20th century onwards. Today, international shipping carries around 90 per cent of intercontinental trade which has led to a massive consumption of HFO.

HFO combustion is coming under increasing scrutiny from environmental and governmental pressure. This is particularly true of the power generation and shipping industries which often rely on HFO as a primary source of energy. However, HFO combustion has a serious problem which gives rise to the environmental impact. When not enough oxygen can combine with a hydrocarbon fuel during combustion the result is incomplete combustion. Incomplete combustion of HFO in engines results in waste comprising of both undesirable emissions and unspent HFO. Current methodology to increase oxygen by blowing air into the combustion chamber is inadequate. 

The 21st century is on a relentless drive to reduce waste, pollutants and harmful emissions. IMO 2020 is the International Maritime Organization’s ruling that from 1 January 2020, there must a be significant reduction of marine emissions. One solution to this problem is to improve the burn profile by increasing the oxygen availability. The current methods of blowing into engines to increase oxygen availability clearly is not increasing the oxygen availability enough as the fuel ratio of HFO in these engines is still too “rich” which causes production of soot and black particulate matter which has been linked with serious human health issues.

What are the alternatives? 

Scrubbers are essentially exhaust cleaning technologies that enable the use of high sulphur fuel whilst remaining compliant with low sulphur regulations. 5000 ships could install scrubbers by 2025 at a cost of c$15bn, payback is estimated 4 years (source Goldman Sachs 30/05/18)

Much of the collected soot and harmful emission debris is sometimes dumped at sea which still causes significant pollution throughout ecosystems.

ElimiNox in conjunction with Sulnox and Scimed has an alternative cost-effective solution at a fraction of the cost of installing scrubbers using the technology consisting of ultrasonically mixing water, HFO and SulNox into a stable emulsion with similar or better attributes with ongoing maintenance kept to a minimum.

The current cost per scrubber system is around €2.5mn per vessel (source: Wartsila).

Although it can vary between €1mn and €6mn depending on the vessel size; for example, cruise vessels typically tend to be towards the top end of the range as they have two systems installed. An ultrasound/HFO/Emulsion System in comparison, would be c25% of scrubber costs.

A similar system has been developed for deployment in coal-fired power stations which use substantial quantities of HFO as part of the fuel ignition process. The ElimiNOX delivery system is perfectly suited to power stations with their relatively simple combustion system and the anticipated benefits could be substantial.

We would be pleased to receive inquiries from any interested parties.