Tri-Mer Air Pollution Control Systems

Maritime emissions treatment system (METS)

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Courtesy of Tri-Mer Air Pollution Control Systems

In January 2014, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) began enforcement of the 'Airborne Toxic Control Measure for Auxiliary Diesel Engines Operated on Ocean-Going Vessels At-Berth in a California Port' Regulation, commonly referred to as the At-Berth Regulation.

Covering all six ports in California, the At-Berth Regulation requires a 50% reduction in emissions from auxiliary diesel engines of ships at-berth. Through 2020, those reductions will be periodically increased to a maximum of 80%.

Initially, the only available technology approved to comply with the At-Berth Regulation was the shore power option, AMP. All California ports have installed significant shore power infrastructure; however, cases exist in which an equivalent emissions reduction option will be required. Those would include ships and or berths that are not AMP capable.

Clean Air Engineering Maritime (CAEM), in partnership with Tri-Mer Corporation, has developed the Maritime Emissions Treatment System (METS), a CARB certified alternative to achieve compliance with the At-Berth Regulation.

The METS system is comprised of two components. First, the emissions capture device effectively transports the exhaust from the ship's exhaust stack to the treatment system. Second, the Catalytic Ceramic Filter (CCF) technology treats the emissions for diesel particulate matter (diesel PM) and NOx. Low density ceramic filters are embedded with catalyst that facilitates the selective catalytic reduction of NOx to harmless nitrogen and water vapor. Nitrogen is the most common gas in earth's atmosphere. The combination of these components constitutes a significant advance in treating large-scale diesel exhaust from ships.

The performance of the METS system is assessed by examining the system's capture efficiency and pollutant removal efficiencies: 91.0% for capture efficiency, 91.4% for NOx removal, and 99.5% for PM capture as demonstrated averages over multiple vessels. METS performance exceeds CARB requirements and has gained CARB approval for use at California ports.

BACKGROUND
In December 2007, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved the 'Airborne Toxic Control Measure for Auxiliary Diesel Engines Operated on Ocean-Going Vessels At-Berth in a California Port' Regulation (At-Berth Regulation).

The At-Berth Regulation aims to reduce emissions from diesel auxiliary engines on container ships, passenger ships, and refrigerated-cargo ships while berthing at any of California's six ports including the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco, and Hueneme. The pollutants targeted for reduction currently include both NOx and diesel particulate.

Starting in January of 2014, the At-Berth Regulation requires vessel operators of fleet ships calling at any of California's six ports to achieve reductions of at least 50% of at-berth emissions from auxiliary diesel engines used for power generation. The requirements increase to 70% in 2017 and 80% in 2020.

Initially, the only approved and available technology to comply with the At-Berth Regulation was the shore power option, or AMP. All six California ports have installed significant amounts of shore power infrastructure.

In conjunction with the building of port infrastructure, vessel operators either built new ships or retrofitted existing ships to be able to plug into shore power. The cost of conversion for each ship can exceed several million dollars. Due to these high conversion costs, only ships meeting stringent criteria - such as age of the ship and the frequency and duration of port calls - are economically viable.

While shore power access continues to expand today, there remain certain berths and terminals where shore power infrastructure will not be available in the short term, or may not be feasible due to construction restrictions, power availability, and cost issues. Additionally, there is a certain percentage of ships that are not AMP capable. In order to comply with future emissions reduction requirements, all ships will either have to be AMPed or use an equivalent emissions reduction option.

Clean Air Engineering Maritime (CAEM) partnered with Tri-Mer Corporation to engineer and implement an innovative system that allows ships to meet the California Air Resources Board At-Berth regulation.

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