Bilfinger begins pilot project to remove sulfur from ship exhausts

May 29, 2015

Bilfinger is conducting a pilot project to equip a ship's motor with a large-scale flue gas desulfurization unit on behalf of the Bremen-based Carl Büttner shipping line. The unit will be installed in the ship and put into operation in the spring of 2016. The contract also includes a long-term service agreement for the desulfurization unit.
Although desulfurization units have to date enjoyed particular relevance at power plants in Europe, they are now being tested for use in ship motors. Ships use heavy oil for fuel, which can contain up to several percent of sulfur. Sulfur is released as sulfur dioxide and adds significantly to air pollution. To improve air quality, especially close to coastal areas, environmental zones – so-called ECA (Emission Control Areas) – were established. These zones currently exist in the North and Baltic Seas as well as on the coasts of North America. The zones should extend to all of the world's oceans in the next five to ten years. Since the beginning of this year, ships may use only low-sulfur fuels in ECA zones or, alternatively, must deploy a desulfurization unit.
Babcock Noell has planned and built many desulfurization units for power plants and industrial facilities in recent years. This experience forms the basis for the development of a desulfurization unit for ships.