Hitachi Zosen Corporation, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), and Yanmar Power Technologies Co. (YPT), have received Approval in Principle for the Methane Oxidation Catalyst System (Note 1) from Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK). The system reduces methane slip by placing a methane oxidation catalyst in an LNG fuel engine and oxidizing the methane. This is the first time in the world that a methane oxidation catalyst system has received Approval in Principle (Note 2).
This project was adopted by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) as “Development of Methane Slip Reduction Technology from LNG Fueled Vessels by Improving Catalysts and Engines” (Note 3) under the Development of Next-generation ship Project of the Green Innovation Fund (Note 4).
Hitachi Zosen and YPT created the system design with MOL and Namura Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. set to build the actual demonstration vessel and design the system’s installation. The companies are working together closely to conduct risk assessments and implement other measures. This time, it was confirmed that the proposed system meets the requirements of the International Code of Safety for Ship Using Gases or Other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code) (Note 5) and other regulations.
The project aims to further reduce the environmental impact of LNG fuel engine by achieving a methane slip reduction rate of more than 70% over a six-year period from FY2021 to FY2026 by combining a methane oxidation catalyst and engine improvements and verifying the design concept in actual vessels. The Approval is an important first step toward establishing the technology for this system.
Note1: Methane Oxidation Catalyst System
This system is placed in the exhaust pipes of LNG fuel engines and generators that contain unburned methane, and methane is oxidized on the catalysts to reduce methane slip.
Note2: Approval in Principle
An AiP is issued to equipment and systems that are unprecedented or have very few precedents where the Classification Society has confirmed that the establishment and safety of the equipment and systems meet the current rules and guidelines.
Note 3: Methane slip
In gas engines, a portion of the methane in the LNG fuel is emitted into the atmosphere as unburned methane, via the exhaust. Methane has a higher greenhouse effect than CO2, and methane slip reduction is required to achieve greenhouse gas reductions.
Note 4: Please refer to the following press releases dated October 27, 2021 regarding this project.
Note 5: IGF code
International Code of Safety for Ship Using Gases or Other Low-flashpoint Fuels issued in 2017 to specify safety requirements for ships using gas fuels and low flash point fuels.