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EU project demonstrates low-emission barge

6 March 2008

Partners from the EU-funded CREATING project (“Concepts to reduce environmental impact and attain optimal transport performance by inland navigation”) have started a demonstration of a new low-emission shipping vessel. The ship, “Victoria”—a 1,300 tonne, 70 meter long barge owned by BP Shipping and operating in the Port of Rotterdam and Antwerp areas—has been modified and equipped with emission aftertreatment system. The modifications are expected to reduce NOx emissions by 92% and PM emissions by 98%. In addition, CO2 emissions are expected to be reduced by 5%.

NOx emissions are reduced using a urea-based selective catalytic reduction (SCR), while PM emissions are controlled using an active diesel particulate filter with fuel burner regeneration. Both devices, integrated into one emission control system, have been supplied by Hug Engineering.

The particulate filter utilizes catalyzed SiC substrates, regenerated by two full-flow diesel fuel burners. The active regeneration is performed every 20-50 hours of operation and lasts ten minutes. During regeneration, the burners increase the filter temperature to nearly 500°C.

SOx emissions are reduced by operating the barge on ultra-low sulfur diesel of 10 ppm S, rather than the 1000 ppm S fuel typically used for EU inland waterway vessels.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are reduced through the use of a “Tempomaat” system, which computes the optimum speed of the vessel to maximize fuel efficiency.

The “Victoria” barge main engine is MTU 8V 4000 M60, rated 880 kW (1197 hp) at 1800 rpm. The low-emission demonstration has been scheduled for a one year period.

Other EU programs that investigate efficient ship transportation include the HERCULES project (“High efficiency engine R&D on combustion with ultra low emissions for ships”), working on increasing the efficiency of marine diesel engines, and the METHAPU project (“Validation of renewable methanol based auxiliary power system for commercial vessels”), developing methanol fuel cell technology for the maritime sector.

Source: Cordis