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Prevention of Air Pollution


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Nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur oxides (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.

In October 2016, IMO decided to reduce the maximum permitted sulfur content in fuel oil from the current 3.5% or less to 0.5% or less after 2020. A critical issue is whether shipping companies will be able to procure fuel oil that meets those standards on a timely basis. Other MOL countermeasures include conducting a study on the installation of SOx scrubbers on vessels and construction of vessels that use LNG as alternative fuel.
Methanol is another alternative fuel. MOL has started owning and operating methanol carriers that can use dual fuels of methanol and heavy oil. Methanol fuel can reduce SOx emissions by 99%.

In addition, MOL is moving ahead with plans to build a tugboat powered by an engine that can run on either heavy oil A or LNG, which is expected to go into service in 2019.
This will contribute to MOL Group R&D on construction of LNG-fueled vessels.

NOx (nitrogen oxide) Emission Countermeasures

NOx emissions from ships are being regulated in phases under the IMO treaty. The third tier, which makes regulations even tighter, has come into effect since January 2016. Since 2014, NOx selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems have been installed and tested in three power generators on MOL-operated iron ore carriers.

NOx-reducing SCR System

NOx Removal System

MOL, Yanmar Co., Ltd., and Namura Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. Have jointly developed an SCR system. This system has received a statement of fact from ship classification society ClassNK, verifying that it meets International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations.

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 Scrubber

An SOx scrubber is installed in the funnel of the ship, and sprays seawater into the exhaust gas to eliminate sulfur.

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. MOL- operated 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.

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