Effect of seawater alkalinity on the performances of a marine diesel engine desulphurization scrubber
Journal article, 2021
Since the last fifteen years, Flue Gas Desulphurization (FGD) plants based on seawater scrubbing found an interesting application in the maritime transportation, as an answer to the stringent regulations imposed by International Maritime Organization (IMO) on sulphur emissions. This work reports the experimental results on desulphurization in a pilot seawater scrubber (DN 400) from a marine Diesel engine (80 kW) operated under different loads (10, 25 and 50%). The pilot scrubber was fed with a gas velocity 0.15 m/s and a liquid to gas mass ratio 1-3 kg/kg. The scrubbing liquid was available at different alkalinity and salinity levels representing the ion speciation of marine water in different geographic areas. The experiments evaluate the SO2 removal efficiency of the scrubber as a function of seawater alkalinity and pH. Finally, the paper reports a correlation to assess the seawater flow rate required to comply with the current IMO restrictions. This correlation allows tuning the seawater flow rate during the ship navigation based on the registered marine alkalinities and to the operating conditions of the engine. The model can be integrated in the scrubber control system to identify optimal operating conditions and reduce pumping costs, helping to reduce the EEDI and the SEEMP ships energy indexes.