Japan to trial world’s first ship-based CO2 capture system

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Small-scale CO2 capture demonstration plant

The idea of using on-board carbon capture to reduce CO2 emissions from ships is starting to move beyond the realms of theoretical speculation. A project backed by the Maritime Bureau of Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism will see Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (K Line) install a small-scale, marine-use CO2 capture plant on board an operating vessel, in collaboration with project partners Mitsubishi Shipbuilding and ClassNK.

The demonstration involves converting the design of an existing CO2 capture system for onshore power plant to the marine environment, and installing on board an actual ship in service.

Called “Carbon Capture on the Ocean” (CC-Ocean), the project is planned to last for two years.

In a first step, with verification from ClassNK, a hazard identification (HazID) study will be launched for the design of the demonstration plant and its onboard installation. Manufacturing of the small scale demonstration plant and a safety assessment of the system will be conducted by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding.

The demonstration plant will be manufactured in mid-2021 and, following operational tests at the factory, it will be installed on board a Tohoku Electric Power Co coal carrier operated by K Line.

Through operational and performance experience in a real life marine environment, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding will determine the system specifications required for a marine-based device and will also consider how to make the plant more compact.

The captured CO2 is expected to be recycled as a new CO2 source for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) processes or as a raw material in synthetic fuel produced through methanation.

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