Methane-slip product wins approval

By Jack Burke16 March 2022

Product developed by a consortium led by Hitachi Zosen

An oxidation catalyst system designed to reduce methane slip on liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fueled vessels won Approval in Principal from ClassNK.

The system, developed by Hitachi Zosen Corp. (Hitachi Zosen), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.(MOL) and Yanmar Power Technology Co. (YPT).

In part because of concerns over global warming, the shipping industry is working on various technological and business developments to realize a low-carbon society. One of these efforts is the introduction in various parts of the world of LNG-fueled ships, which have a low environmental impact, the companies said in a news release. LNG fuel can reduce CO2 emissions, but engines using LNG can be prone to the problem of methane slip, where unburned fuel is expelled in the exhaust, the companies said.

artist’s impression of a coal carrier scheduled for actual shipboard demonstration. (Image: Hitachi Zosen)

Reducing methane slip is a pressing issue in engine design. In this project, the partners aim to achieve a methane slip reduction rate of more than 70% for LNG-fueled vessels over a six-year period from FY2021 to FY2026. The reduction will be achieved by combining methane oxidation catalysts and engine improvements thereby further reducing the environmental impact of LNG-fueled vessels.

YPT will also commission Namura Shipbuilding, together with Hitachi Zosen and MOL, to establish the technology to install the system developed in this research on actual ships. The system will be installed in a coal carrier built at the Namura Shipbuilding and operated by MOL for demonstration of the methane slip reduction technology. The partners will work to establish the technology as soon as possible with a view to utilizing carbon-recycled methane in future applications, reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 towards realizing a carbon-neutral society.

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