Safetytech Accelerator, in collaboration with Capital Gas Ship Management, MSC, and Seapeak, has completed four technology feasibility studies as part of its flagship Methane Abatement in Maritime Innovation Initiative (MAMII). The outcomes of these studies showed strong potential to cut methane emissions in the maritime industry.

Daphne Technology, CDTi Advanced Materials, Inc. (CDTi), Rotoboost, and Plenesys were selected by MAMII from amongst twenty companies to help address the critical challenge of mitigating methane emissions from the exhaust stacks of LNG fuelled ships.

Also read: More companies join Methane Abatement Initiative

Plasma-catalysis-based methane abatement

Daphne Technology’s SlipPure is a plasma-catalysis-based methane abatement solution installed in exhaust stacks. The system converts methane into carbon dioxide and water.

The study of Daphne Technology’s SlipPure methane abatement system focused on its implementation in the auxiliary engines of a dual-fuel-powered 14,000 TEU container ship. It showed that a two-unit installation, with an assumed removal efficiency of eighty per cent, can cover four auxiliary engines, ensuring operational flexibility. It outlined a potential reduction of up to 440 metric tonnes of methane annually.

Also read: Technology trial for new methane slip solution

Emissions catalysts

CDTi uses emissions catalysts to passively oxidise methane in the exhaust stream and reduce its release into the atmosphere. CDTI investigated their catalyst’s performance against the key parameters impacting the system’s effectiveness over its full-service life.

Results highlighted the impressive performance of their catalyst, achieving eighty per cent methane conversion at lower temperatures across various engine loads. The study was able to offer an affordable system size for optimal methane reduction.

Also read: Another seven companies join initiative to tackle methane slip

Cracking methane molecules

Plenesys employs plasma torches to crack methane molecules, separating clean hydrogen from carbon. The feasibility study conducted by Plenesys meticulously examined process compatibility and mechanical and electrical adaptations. It also included a techno-economic and environmental assessment of the technology deployment.

The study demonstrated that the solution can effectively reduce methane slip by 78 per cent, converting it to hydrogen for engine reinjection. Economically, the integration of technology presented a profitable scenario due to considerable savings in carbon taxes. Environmentally, the technology showed substantial reductions in methane slip and CO2 emissions.

Low-carbon hydrogen production

Rotoboost enables on-site low-carbon hydrogen production through thermo-catalytic decomposition (TCD) as pre-combustion carbon removal and methane slip reduction solution. In maritime, oil and gas applications, hydrogen can be blended as a drop-in fuel with LNG. Rotoboost explored the implementation of a TCD system on LNG-fuelled vessels. This system not only reduces methane slip by improving combustion efficiency, but also lowers CO2 emissions due to the higher calorific value of the hydrogen-enhanced fuel mix.

The study concluded that the hydrogen drop-in fuel generated by the onboard Rotoboost TCD system presents several benefits such as significant emission reductions and additional revenue from carbon by-products, making it a cost-effective solution for meeting IMO emission targets.

Also read: MAN solution aims for 70% reduction in methane slip

To on-ship trials

MAMII hopes to progress these research projects to on-ship trials as soon as possible. MAMII was launched in September 2022 by Safetytech Accelerator, bringing together industry leaders, technology innovators, and maritime stakeholders to advance technologies for measuring and mitigating methane emissions in the maritime sector and promote the adoption of validated solutions.

MAMII currently has twenty leading shipping and energy companies as anchor partners.

Chris McDade, vice president Operations at Seapeak: ‘As a MAMII anchor partner, our fleet will directly participate in feasibility studies, new equipment trials and testing of technical solutions to reduce or eliminate methane slip from LNG vessels. We’re excited to play our part in a project which can bring positive change for a sustainable future.’

‘Information about how methane combustion performs under different conditions will be critical to solving the challenge of methane slip,’ states MSC Group executive vice president, Maritime Policy & Government Affairs Bud Darr. ‘Research insights from studies such as this one get the industry a step closer to understanding not only combustion performance, but also what combination of onboard technologies can deliver significant methane emissions reduction. Improving the methane footprint of the global maritime fleet will be crucial to unlocking the net zero potential of bio and synthetic LNG.’