Thursday, September 29, 2011

Los Angeles Port, SoCal University to Join on Vessel Emission Scrubber Project

The Port of Los Angeles is partnering with the California State University Long Beach (CSULB) Foundation to develop and test a new $1.8 million vessel emission scrubber system next spring that has the potential to reduce emissions of docked cargo vessels by as much as 85 percent.

The scrubber system utilizes seawater to filter contaminants from a docked vessel's auxiliary engine emissions. Once solid carbon contaminants have been removed, the seawater used during the process is then treated, cleansed and discharged. The solid contaminants are contained and collected for later disposal.

"Seawater exhaust scrubbers show great long-term promise for reducing ship emissions," Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz said. "It’s innovative, next-generation technologies like these that will greatly contribute to better air quality and greener, cleaner port operations in the future."

Hamid Hefazi, professor and chair of CSULB’s mechanical and aerospace engineering department, and one of the co-principal investigators overseeing the project, said the partnership with the port is a good fit for the university.

"One of CSULB’s missions, in addition to its primary mission of providing high quality education, is to support community needs economically, environmentally and in other ways," Hefazi said.

"Pollution is not only a global issue but also a significant local problem. If we as a university can help with that, I believe we have made a very significant contribution."
Under CSULB’s leadership, technology and design firm Rolls Royce Marine will integrate and test a Belco Technologies Corporation seawater scrubber system on a Horizon Lines containership which makes monthly calls at the port.

The 36-month pilot program is being financed with funds from the Los Angeles port's $20 million Air Quality Mitigation Incentive Program. Established in 2004, the program provides financial incentives to spur evaluation and implementation of air pollution reduction projects.

The CSULB/Rolls Royce Marine seawater scrubber pilot is the second for the Port of LA; another similar project was launched earlier this year by the Port in conjunction with APL and the Port of Long Beach.

According to the port, seawater scrubber systems have been shown to substantially reduce ship exhaust emissions, including 85 percent for particulate matter (PM), 50 percent for sulfur oxide (SOx), and three percent for nitrogen oxides (NOx). Such technology, said the port, is of particular interest to large ships needing to meet new International Maritime Organization requirements for cleaner fuel and engine technology when these large vessels operate in designated areas along the coast.