Effects of scrubber washwater discharge on microplankton in the Baltic Sea
Journal article, 2019

In 2020, the global cap of maximum allowable sulphur content in marine fuel will be reduced from the current 3.5% to 0.5%. Another way to reduce the sulphur emissions is to install a seawater scrubber that cleans exhausts but instead release acidic water containing nutrients and contaminants back to the marine environment. In the current study, scrubber washwater was tested on a Baltic Sea microplankton community. A significant increase in chlorophyll a, particulate organic phosphorus (POP), carbon (POC) and nitrogen (PON) were observed when the community was exposed to 10% scrubber washwater for 13 days as compared to the control. A laboratory experiment with the filamentous cyanobacteria Nodularia spumigena and the chain-forming diatom Melosira cf. arctica showed negative responses in photosynthetic activity (EC10 = 8.6% for N. spumigena) and increased primary productivity (EC10 = 5.5% for M. cf. arctica), implying species-specific responses to scrubber washwater discharge.


Erik Ytreberg

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Maritime Studies

Ida-Maja Hassellöv

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Maritime Studies

Amanda Nylund

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Maritime Studies

Mikael Hedblom

University of Gothenburg

Adil Y. Al-Handal

University of Gothenburg

Angela Wulff

University of Gothenburg

Marine Pollution Bulletin

0025-326X (ISSN) 1879-3363 (eISSN)

Vol. 145 316-324

Ecotoxicological effects of seawater scrubbing and its relation to ocean acidification

Formas (210-2012-1298), 2013-01-01 -- 2016-12-31.

Commercial shipping as a source of acidification in the Baltic Sea (SHipH)

Formas (brg8613), 2013-01-01 -- 2016-12-31.

Subject Categories


Environmental Sciences

Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging



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