September 19, 2005

Additive tests yield emission reductions from ship engines

Tests of the fuel additive CombustAll in the diesel engines of a seagoing vessel have shown substantial reductions in air emissions from ships. The Vancouver Port Authority (VPA) and Seaboard International Shipping tested CombustAll in the diesel engines of Seaboard's vessel The Skaubryn, on a voyage from Vancouver to Japan this past July. The chemical catalyst was tested again during a separate voyage from San Francisco to Vancouver Island in September.

The results showed reductions of 45.5% in emissions of particulate matter (PM), 5.9% in carbon monoxide (CO), and 5% in nitrogen oxides (NOX).

Similar tests were conducted earlier in 2005 on the diesel generators of the Skaubryn while at berth, with equally positive results. Based on the combined results, VPA and Seabord calculated the annual emission reductions from a single vessel as follows: CO, down by 18.8 megatonnes per year (MT/yr); NOX, down by 24.1 MT/yr; PM, down by 6.1 MT/yr; and sulfur oxides (SOX), down by 13 MT/yr.

CombustAll, produced by Vancouver-based Catalyst Energy, is added to diesel or heavy bunker fuel to increase the combustion efficiency of engines and boilers. Improved efficiency not only extracts more energy from each unit of fuel, it reduces emissions of airborne pollutants such as CO, NOX, PM and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Mel Bjorndal, vice-president of shipping for Seaboard, also noted that "the initial tests show that our costs did not increase as a result of this change. At this stage," he added, "we plan to expand the use of the additive to our other vessels while in port."

The VPA is also using CombustAll in its maintenance department and in diesel-powered equipment at the port's Vanterm container terminal. The initiative is part of the VPA's Integrated Air Emissions Program to reduce the overall contribution that the port makes to air emissions in the Greater Vancouver Regional District.

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