Tests to Begin on First Ship-Based CO2 Capture Plant

test to begin on marine CO2 capture plant
K Lines' Corona Utility - courtesy K Line

Published Aug 31, 2020 5:44 PM by The Maritime Executive

A new project aims to conduct test operations and measurements for a small-scale ship-based CO2 capture demonstration plant.  The project, which will deploy the demonstration unit on a Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (“K” Line) vessel working in collaboration with Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Company and Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) is an R&D effort aimed at verifying the equipment's use.

The two-year project will begin with the launch of a HAZID (hazard identification) evaluation of the demonstration plant and deployment on vessels, with verification from ClassNK. Mitsubishi Shipbuilding will begin the development and construction of a small-scale CO2 capture demonstration plant and evaluation of system safety. 

During the second phase, which is expected to start in the middle of 2021, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding will begin test operations of the demonstration plant at its factory. By the end of 2021, they aim to be operating the demonstration plant on-board “K” Line’s Corona Utility, an 88,000 DWT coal carrier built in 2016 and operated for Tohoku Electric Power Co. The installation will provide the opportunity to measure the system’s performance under marine conditions, to jointly develop a new marine system for vessels.

Conceptual drawing of the CO2 recovery demo plant

The marine-use CO2 capture demonstration plant will be based on an onshore plant and designed to capture a portion of a vessel’s gas emissions. This project will not only verify the efficacy of capturing and storing CO2 from a vessel’s gas emissions, but also the operability and safety of CO2 capture facilities at sea. These demonstration tests are aimed at promoting the development of more compact equipment required by marine environments along with the development of system requirements necessary for stable continuous operation at sea.

As the world’s first marine demonstration test, the partnership says the project will provide invaluable insights into facilities design and technologies for capturing CO2 emissions and achieving zero emissions onboard vessels. Additionally, 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 through methanation. In this way, the project will significantly contribute to the long-term reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. 

The project is supported by the Maritime Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism as part of its programs to support research and development for advancing marine resources technologies.