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Prevention of Air Pollution


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Shipping is an energy efficient mode of transport. That said, because vessels use oil as fuel they inevitably emit CO2 (carbon dioxide), which is a cause of global warming, as well as NOx (nitrogen oxide), SOx (sulfur oxide), soot and other emissions, which are linked to acid rain and atmospheric pollution. NOx and SOx cause acid rain and air pollution. As industrialization has grown, air pollution has become even problematical, affecting the daily lives of people and damaging the natural environment. The MOL Group is fully aware of the effects on air quality associated with its business activities and thus proactively works to reduce the impact on an ongoing basis.

NOx (nitrogen oxide) Emission Countermeasures

Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR)

NOx Removal System

NOx is generated by bonding nitrogen in fuel oil and the oxygen in the air under high temperature during combustion in the engine. We equipped SCR systems, which eliminate NOx emissions from vessels, to three power generators on the MOL-owned/operated large-scale iron ore carrier. We confirmed that its denitration performance for diesel oil conforms to IMO's NOx Tier III regulations, which will take effect in 2016.

MOL, in cooperation with ClassNK and Yanmar Co., Ltd., has been operating the system since the vessel was delivered in December 2013. Its verification using marine diesel oil (MDO) as fuel and about 3,100 hours of operation (total operation hours of three SCR systems) have been completed. Verification using heavy fuel oil (HFO) is now in progress.

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SOx (sulfur oxide) Emission Countermeasures

SOx is generated by burning fuel oil containing sulfur. To reduce the volume of SOx emissions, MOL has set a standard for the sulfur content in the fuel it consumes that is stricter than the International Convention governing sulfur content in fuel oil. We have started the following actions as additional measures.

  • Installing devices compatible to low sulfur fuel oil on some vessels
  • Investigation of low sulfur fuel oil's impact on existing devices and safety verification for actual operation
  • Considering the installation of SOx scrubbers to remove sulfur from emission gas

SOx Scrubber

MOL launched a study to equip its in-service fleet with SOx scrubbers in advance of a revised international treaty that places stronger restrictions on vessel exhaust emissions. It targets car carriers, because their structure makes it more technically challenging to add scrubber systems, compared to other types of vessels. It also focuses on ships already in service, which are more difficult to equip with scrubbers than newbuilding vessels. We will promptly develop detailed specifications for the scrubber system and use the latest technologies such as 3D scanning to promote operational efficiency in installation process, aiming for results that will streamline the development of ship class rules and guidelines.

Word First-Successful Methanol Combustion in Low-speed Diesel Engine

MAN Diesel & Turbo's test engine ran successfully on methanol fuel. This photo was taken when the engine was officially introduced.

In cooperation with MOL, MAN Diesel & Turbo of Denmark developed the main engine, the first low-speed diesel engine ever in the world to run on methanol in 2015. In early 2016 , we launched the tanker vessel equipped with dual-fuel engine that can run on either methanol or heavy fuel oil. Since methanol contains no sulfur, it is more environmentally friendly than conventional diesel fuel, and can reduce sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions. Also, compared to the conventional engine, it will reduce CO2 and NOx.

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Soot/Smoke and Dust Countermeasures

Maintenance-free DPF

Exhaust Gas Purification System

Exhaust gases emitted by ships contain diesel emitted particulate (DEP), and other particulate matter (PM) such as soot and dust. MOL has been developing a d iesel particulate filter (DPF) for diesel engines on vessels that use marine heavy fuel oil together with Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) and Akasaka Diesels Limited. In 2010, we conducted a test installation and have begun trial operation of this system on the diesel engine used for power generation on an MOL Group-operated ocean-going vessel. This is the world's first installation of a selfregenerating DPF on an ocean- going vessel. This system incorporates a filter made from ceramic fibers. The filter collects particulate matter (PM) when exhaust gas goes through it. It can collect over 80% of PM produced, significantly reducing black smoke emissions.

Using Onshore Power Supplies While at Berth

The containership MOL Matrix using an onshore power supply system

Emissions of NOx, SOx, soot and smoke, and other pollutants can be significantly reduced while at berth by reducing the use of conventional diesel power generators and receiving electric power supply from onshore instead. A total of 16 MOL- perated containerships and tugboats operated by Group tugboat companies have been installing electric power supply systems connected to the local electricity grid to power ships at berth. In some ports, the shore power supply system is even used to power domestic carriers while at berth. The Emerald Ace, which was delivered in 2012, achieves "zero emissions" by completely shutting off diesel power generators while at berth. "

Eco Terminal

Tokyo International Container Terminal

MOL and MOL Group company Utoc Corporation installed a 200 kW solar power generation system at the Tokyo International Container Terminal in 2007. In fiscal 2015, the system generated approximately 179,000 kWh of power, which covered about 28% of the power needs for the control building. In addition, Utoc Corporation and Shosen Koun Co., Ltd. Have also progressively introduced hybrid transfer cranes at their container terminals in Tokyo and Kobe, respectively. These cranes consume approximately 40% less fuel than conventional ones.

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