Pilot Project Will Test Modular Carbon Capture System Aboard Crowley Vessel

Crowley containership
Crowley's containership K-Storm will be used for the pilot test of the carbon capture system (Crowley file photo)

Published Dec 14, 2023 5:39 PM by The Maritime Executive


An advanced pilot project is getting underway to test a second-generation carbon capture and storage technology designed for easy installation and operation aboard ships. The project will be testing technology developed by U.S.-based Carbon Ridge aboard a containership operated by Crowley and with the support of the U.S. Maritime Administration.

Started in 2021, Carbon Ridge has developed a new carbon capture system that it highlights as working with multiple marine fuels and being easy to install. It requires minimal fabrication and alternations to the ship, mounting adjacent to the vessel's existing exhaust funnel. Exhaust gas is routed into the process skid where the CO2 and exhaust gas are separated in a process of absorption and then routed through compression and liquefaction to yield a CO2-rich solvent that can be stored and offloaded from the vessel. The clean exhaust flows back into the funnel.

The companies and MARAD executed a cooperative agreement for the pilot program to operate, measure, and optimize the technology’s effectiveness in actual maritime environments at port and ultimately at sea. The collaboration includes the engineering, manufacturing, and integration of a small-capacity version of Carbon Ridge’s full-scale carbon capture system. Crowley’s engineering services group, which provides vessel design and engineering, project management, and waterfront engineering services, will lead the integration of the pilot system.

“The advancement of the pilot project represents a milestone in the emerging technology for carbon capture,” said Chase Dwyer, CEO of Carbon Ridge. “With its potential for significant emissions reductions through retrofitting or during new building, ship owners and operators have the opportunity to future-proof their vessels for incoming regulations, as well as reach internal goals for decarbonization and reduced emissions impacts.”


Illustration of the planned CCS installation on Crowley's containership (Crowley)


The system will be installed on the Storm (11,164 dwt) container vessel built in 2006 and currently operated by Crowley between the U.S. and the Caribbean basin. The vessel is 459 feet (140 meters) in length with a capacity of 974 TEU with 170 Reefers. The vessel is powered by a diesel engine built by MAK. 

The carbon capture installation will be housed in two 40-foot container units on the vessel’s main deck. In addition, there will be an additional 20-foot ISO-certified tank for storing the captured liquid CO2. 

According to Carbon Ridge, the pilot project is expected to capture one metric ton per day from the vessel’s main engine. The first phase of the pilot will complete onshore testing and in 2024 they expect to install the pilot unit aboard the Crowley vessel.

Carbon Ridge’s modular onboard carbon capture and storage solution has drawn interest from the maritime community. In 2022, the company raised $6 million in funding to continue development of the technology and to proceed to the onboard pilot. Crowley, along with Berge Bulk, were among the companies participating in the financing.