Evaluating Carbon Capture from marine engine emissions – Houlder shares results of study on decarbonising technology

The results of a project which assessed the potential applications of carbon capture technology have now been released.

Houlder worked as the marine consultant with PMW Technology after receiving funding from the UK Government’s Department for Transport’s Transport-Technology Research Innovation Grant (T-TRIG). The research evaluated the feasibility, costs, infrastructure, and potential effects and benefits of using advanced carbon capture from marine engine emissions to decarbonise the shipping industry.

The study analysed PMW Technology’s advanced A3C carbon capture process which is designed to extract carbon dioxide from marine exhaust gases by freezing, then subliming the carbon dioxide. The gas is then liquified and stored in dedicated tanks onboard. Carbon is captured from vessel emissions without radical technical overhauls of marine engines and fuels.

Two case studies feature in the study; the first is an LNG-fuelled 10,200 tonne deadweight pure car and truck carrier (PCTC), and the second is an 830 tonne deadweight hybrid diesel electric/ battery ferry. For a series of cases, the analysis addresses the physical feasibility of implementation, the impacts on vessel stability, and the capital and operational costs.

The cost of abatement of shipping carbon emissions by A3C carbon capture, including both vessel and shore infrastructure costs, is estimated to be between £85 and £120/te CO2 according to case. This is substantially below the abatement costs of £180/te CO2 for ammonia reported in the Frontier Economics Scenario Analysis for the Department for Transport.

Jonathan Strachan, ship design and engineering director of Houlder, comments: “Working on this study with PMW Technology and its partners was extremely rewarding. The study proved very revealing, particularly as it shows carbon capture technology has the potential to save approximately 50% in the cost of marine decarbonisation, plus the associated benefits of sharing and promoting facilities for industrial decarbonisation.

“Progress towards a zero-carbon shipping industry is accelerating and our 30 years of design and engineering expertise enables us to support the maritime and energy sectors in effectively navigating this universal challenge. We will continue to work with these industries in exploring the various fuels and technologies needed to meet environmental targets.”

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“Charting a ‘solo’ course through this swirl of uncertainty is close to impossible. That’s why we’re often asked by clients to build their knowledge, evaluate their challenges and assess their options. We work closely with research funds and clean-tech providers by bringing decades of industry experience to bear. Our position is independent, technical ‘client friend’ for the decarbonising decades ahead.”


Rupert Hare, Chief Executive Officer