Emissions of Carbon dioxide and other pollutants from vessels has gained increased attention in both the US and around the world over the past few years. In January, 21 countries agreed to promote reduction in such emissions as a means to control global warming as part of the successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol. In March, the US and Canada made a joint request to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to require vessels to use low-sulfur fuel or technology to reduce emissions within 200 nautical miles of the US and Canadian coastline. Of course, back in October, the IMO unanimously adopted amendments to MARPOL Annex VI which mandated a progressive reduction in sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxide emissions from ships initially from the current level of 4.5% to 3.5% and then progressively down to .5% by January 2020.
Now, technology may play in important role in reducing these pollutants. According to an article today in Hellenic Shipping News:
Just a few kilometres from one of the busiest ports in the world, a Singapore firm says it has the answer that can help the shipping industry clean up its act. Ecospec says it has invented and tested a patented method that removes planet-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxides; sulphur dioxide, which causes acid rain; and soot from ship exhausts.
The company claims to have received 60 inquiries from shipping companies since announcing the development of this product. We will continue to follow the development and implementation of this technology on-board ships.