The burning of fossil fuel in diesel engine creates toxic sulfur oxides (Sox) which disturb the ecosystem, harm the marine environment, and cause hazards to marine and human life. SOx emission can cause premature mortality, heart disease, asthma, and respiratory problems in human beings. In the marine, ships emit large amount of SOx into the environment. According to the laws of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), ships are required to reduce the emission of SOx in the water areas in the world, these areas are known as emission control areas (ECA) or SOx emission control areas (SECA).
Authorities across the world are addressing the harmful effects of SOx emission which is a cause of concern for both human health and the eco system. The International Convention for the prevention of pollution from ships, known as MARPOL, has promulgated regulations to preserve the marine environment through the prevention of pollution by oil and other toxic substances. Annex VI of the MARPOL, which got ratified in 2005, set a maximum limit on fuel sulfur content at 4.5% until 2012, at 3.5% until 2020, and at 0.5% thereafter.
In the guidelines published in October 2016, the IMO decided to tighten up the regulations further on SOx emissions, and thus from 2020, a limit of 0.5% is to be set globally. MARPOL also established specific ECAs requiring stricter sulfur reduction. For these designated ECAs, the current fuel sulfur limit is set at 1%. The ECA emission regulations are projected to remain unchanged at 0.1%. In order to maintain required emission standards, the exhaust system of marine vessels must have exhaust gas cleaning system known as scrubbers. Scrubbers remove the SOx from the ship’s engine and boiler exhaust gas.
The mandated guidelines of the international organizations are estimated to create lucrative opportunities for the scrubber manufacturing companies and scrubber installations in the new ships or retrofit installations. By installing an exhaust cleaning system such as Sox scrubber, the operator or owner of the ship is able to work on inexpensive or heavy fuel so as to meet the standards specified by the IMO.
Based on methods, there are two prominent scrubbing techniques used such as wet scrubbing and dry scrubbing. Wet scrubbing works at the contact of target compounds or particulate matter with the scrubbing solution. Wet scrubbers are also used for heat recovery from hot gases by flue-gas condensation. Dry scrubbers systems are used to remove acid gases such as SO2 and HCL from combustion the sources.
Based on design type, there are three type of scrubbers prominently used such as open type, closed type, and hybrid type. In open type scrubber, water is taken from the sea, used for scrubbing, treated, and discharged back to the sea. In closed type scrubber, water treated with an alkaline chemical such as caustic soda is used for neutralization and scrubbing. Lastly, hybrid systems can operate in either open or closed loop mode depending on the design. They operate with either freshwater or seawater when in closed loop mode.
In terms on region, the marine scrubbers market can be segmented into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Europe is predicted to lead the marine scrubbers market during the forecast period, primarily due to the environmental norms and subsidies on installation of scrubbers which are estimated to attract investments. The marine scrubbers market in North America is anticipated to follow Europe during the forecast period.
Key companies operating in the marine scrubbers market are Wartsila, Alfa Laval AB, Yara Marine Technologies AS, BELCO Technologies Corporation, CR Ocean Engineering, AEC Maritime, Fuji Electric, Clean Marine, and Shanghai Bluesoul Environment Technology Company Limited.
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