Process and Stack Gas Emission Analysers

Alongside our partner company Parker Kittiwake – Procal we specialise in designing, developing and distributing advanced analysers.  Combined with accessories, these make up our Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS) for refineries, blast furnaces, shipping and a range of other industrial applications.  All are a match for the ever-tougher demands of global pollution prevention schemes.

Procal 2000 Infra-red Gas Analyser
The Procal 2000 is a duct- or stack-mounted gas analyser which provides in-stack analysis of up to six gas-phase emission components.

Using the reflective beam principle, it directly measures process gas as it enters the sample cell.  Its patented and sintered metal technology means no gas filtering or sample conditioning is needed.  It therefore requires less maintenance than any comparable system currently available.

Optional add-ons can be purchased to adapt the analyser to specific or extreme environmental conditions, such as a probe heater to ensure the gas cell operates above the process gas dew point.  It is ATEX certified, which means it meets the requirements of the EU directive regulating equipment intended for use in hazardous explosive environments.  It also has approval from the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), the body responsible for global electrical and electronic standards.

Procal 5000 Ultra-violet Gas Analyser
The Procal 5000 analyses the full UV spectrum to give readings for gas emission concentrations.   The reflective beam principle is used – an extended-life UV source capable of more than 7000 hours of non-stop operation.  Calibration can be checked frequently without intervening, which allows automated legislative compliance.

The Analyser Control Unit, which comes with the system, can power and control up to six analysers, displaying not only gas concentrations but sample conditions, diagnostic data and trends.
Its Auto Verification Unit provides a zero check and span verification, adjusting when necessary.  With the in-situ heater option, this analyser is readily adaptable to cold climates.

In short, the Procal 5000 is a fully verifiable CEMS with upgrades that ensure it can comply with any range or reporting format regulations in force in any part of the world.

Procal 6000 Radioactive Gas Analyser
The duct-mounted analyser Procal 6000, in common with the other analysers we have looked at, comes as part of a system that typically includes an integral calibration function (the Auto Verification Unit) and a Control Unit, as well as extras such as an in-situ heater.  It has been designed for the reliable testing of corrosive and toxic gas-phase samples – and especially the safe testing of radioactive gas. Unlike many extractive systems it is low maintenance and can be kept free of contamination.

Gas Filter Correlation and an additional check measuring wavelength keep cross-sensitivity to a minimum.  Automatic recalibration ensures that very little intervention is needed in the course of operation.

The Control Unit software can report on more than just gas emissions.  In receiving inputs on particulates and opacity, oxygen and velocity, it will produce the type of reports and presentation of results that environmental agencies around the world require.

To find out more about how our products withstand the harshest conditions, please have a look at the video on the Procal website.  You can also contact us via the form on the website or call us on 01733 232495: we look forward to discussing the most suitable and cost-effective solution for your needs.

Parker Kittiwake to Sponsor the Marine Propulsion Awards

Parker Kittiwake is proud to be sponsoring the coveted Marine Propulsion Awards, to be presented at a ceremony on 15th April as part of the annual Marine Propulsion & Auxiliary Machinery Conference.

The awards promote and celebrate excellence and innovation in the development of technology for ships’ engineering systems.

All nominations (the deadline is 30th January) will be reviewed by a panel, with a shortlist voted on by readers of industry publication Marine Propulsion. The categories are:

Marine Engines Award – for an original development that takes engine technology a step forward

Auxiliary Machinery Award – for an enhancement that improves a ship’s operational efficiency or reduces risk to personnel

Environmental Performance Award – for introducing change with a positive environmental benefit

Fuel Efficiency Award – for bringing about a sustainable improvement in fuel efficiency, either on a specific ship or across a fleet

Innovation Award – for any feat of marine engineering that provides an imaginative, effective solution to an engineering need

Shipowner Efficiency Award – for an improvement that has benefited both company and customer in terms of reducing time, cost, or energy consumption

Electrical Systems Award – for equipment that can demonstrate improved efficiency, reduced costs, less waste or better safety

Lifetime Achievement Award – for an individual, selected by Riviera Maritime Media, who has shown consistent leadership and technical inspiration in marine engineering

The two-day Marine Propulsion & Auxiliary Machinery Conference, which will be held on 15th-16th April 2015 in London, will see the  biggest players in the shipping world gather to discuss and gain valuable ‘best practice’ insights into the most challenging issues facing ship operators.

With keynote presentations, panel discussions, technology exhibitions and more, it has become an unmissable event for anyone in the marine propulsion industry.

For further information contact us on:
Tel: +44 1903 731470

South Korea explores Arctic shipping potential

South Korea and Norway held talks this month to discuss marine cooperation in the polar region.

Last year South Korea launched a pilot service on a new shipping route, which cuts the distance between the Asian country and northern Europe from the 22,000 km of the traditional Indian Ocean route to just 7,000 km.

New resources, new sea routes

As South Korea seeks to lessen its dependence on oil from the Middle East, it is attracted by the oil reserves and natural gas deposits of the Arctic.  In addition, its new Northern Sea Route (NSR) would reduce both travel time and fuel costs, bringing significant benefits to the country’s trade, the vast majority of which is handled by sea (with Northern Europe a vital trade partner).  In addition, Korea’s powerful ship-building industry is keen to profit from the increasing demand for offshore platform and ice-hardened vessels in the polar region.  In 2013 South Korea was granted observer status by the Arctic Council, a further step forward in extending its influence.

Arctic challenges

As climate change causes the ice cover to recede, the season for feasible commercial shipping is lengthening.  However, in winter Arctic waters will remain closed to shipping for some time to come.  Shipping companies require consistency, so the irregularity of shipping route openings even in season, along with the difficulty of accurately forecasting weather conditions, could dampen wider commercial enthusiasm.

Similarly problematic is the present lack of opportunities to drop off or pick up cargo while crossing the Arctic, which makes the scope for generating revenues along the route very limited compared to established long-distance routes.

A new Polar Code

Meanwhile, at its November meeting the International Maritime Operation’s (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee approved a Polar Code aimed at preventing accidents and pollution from toxic liquids and sewage in these ecologically unique regions.  Amendments to MARPOL, which will make the Polar Code’s environmental provisions mandatory, are expected to be given the go-ahead in May 2015.

The Polar Code sets out ship structure and stability, operational safety, training and other specifications for vessels operating in both the Arctic and Antarctic.

Other recent news and analysis from the international shipping world can be found on the Parker Kittiwake website.

Quick, reliable on-vessel fuel testing

When a vessel is located in a remote part of the world, a product that allows its crew to test fuel samples without sending them off-site for confirmation will save both time and labour costs.

Even when docked in a major port, local customs regulations or reliance on couriers to deal with logistics can cause delay in getting the analysis data to the right people

On-site fuel labs
Of course, to be effective the product must be robust, accurate and quick to use without in-depth prior training – a specification met by the core electronic QC tests lubricants and residual fuel oils in Parker Kittiwake’s power plant lab.  Supplied in a wall-mounted cabinet, it is designed for use at installations in inhospitable locations.

Both this lab and the fuel and lube lab feature a density meter, which can also be purchased as a stand-alone product.  Tests have shown it is as accurate as more formal laboratory method.  Additionally, its uses are not restricted to measuring diesel and residual bunker fuel density: for example, it will also check that the correct grade of fuel has been delivered, according to ISO 8217.

The Parker Kittiwake Heated Viscometer can be used in a wide variety of applications.  Not only monitoring changes in lubricating oil viscosity, it also verifies that the fuel is the correct grade for storage and purifiers.

Testing for water contamination and the cloud point
In any harsh, industrial environment, water contamination can lead to microbiological growth that will clog filters and corrode fuel systems. The DIGI Water in Oil test comes with an ‘easyship’ reagent system, with comprehensive reagent packs for 50 tests.

Lastly, crews of vessels in arctic waters need a straightforward way of identifying the temperature at which wax crystals begin to form in a distillate fuel (the ‘cloud point’). Kittiwake’s highly portable Cloud Point Detector works by cooling an oil sample and monitoring the intensity of light transmission.

A test usually takes just ten minutes.

See our full list of On-Site Fuel Lab products.

The essential checks during bunker sampling

Regulations for bunker sampling are set out in MARPOL Annex VI, though specific rules drawn up by some ports and companies need to be noted too.

As well as inspecting their equipment for any dirt or damage prior to sampling, the ship operating company should follow the regulations and take additional precautions to ensure both accountability and fuel quality.

The following actions will minimise the chances of supplier-receiver disputes:
-    Both the supplier and the receiver need to be on hand to confirm the completion of the process
-    The sample should be poured into several smaller containers and the labels signed by both parties
-    The seal numbers must be written on the sample labels as well as in the Bunker Delivery Note (which both parties should sign and counter-sign).

Fuel quality
The cutter stock should be introduced very gradually to the residual fuel while the contents of the bunker tank are pumped around; insufficient blending will lead to inconsistent or unrepresentative samples.  Changes in the flow of the sample will alert the operator to possible blending problems.

Similarly, the mixture of new fuel and fuel already in the tank (if it is not completely empty) can be chemically unstable, which is why some form of on-vessel testing method can be useful.
If an analysis shows that the flashpoint temperature has fallen below 60°C (though there are certain exceptions), the fuel must be extracted from the vessel as soon as possible and put aside.  A further flashpoint test should be carried out before the fuel is offloaded to avoid subsequent expensive pumping operations.

Even small improvements in fuel quality can make a positive difference further down the line, in terms of prolonging the lifespan of pumps, pistons and other machinery.  Time and energy spent spotting potential problems before the fuel is on-board makes sound financial sense.

Parker Kittiwake supplies lightweight, easily installed Fuel Drip Bunker Samplers, used by shipping companies across the globe.

All aboard a new Port Charter to tackle fuel quality

An initiative to improve the quality and transparency of the bunker fuel supply chain was agreed at the annual convention of the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) in Hamburg earlier this month.

Ports signing up to a new Port Charter will need to show that they administer a licensing scheme for bunker suppliers.  The Charter also commits them to ensuring there are suitably qualified staff working in the supply chain and to establishing workable testing procedures.

Industry-wide scrutiny

So far, the ports of Rotterdam, Gibraltar and Singapore have indicated that they will support the Charter.

The proposals, backed by industry group International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), had met some opposition at recent sessions of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Maritime Environment Protection Committee meeting.  However, the Committee eventually agreed to set up a correspondence group to formulate draft guidance on fuel oil quality assurance, and to examine whether the existing legal framework was fit for purpose.  A compromise acceptable to all parties was reached by the time delegates gathered in Hamburg.

Raising bunkering standards

Prior to the IMO’s deliberations, IBIA Chairman Jens Maul Jørgensen had voiced his concerns about a lack of respect for ISO standards.  Mr Jørgensen’s view, reported by ShippingWatch, was that robust regulation had to replace voluntary agreements in order to compel suppliers to follow certain criteria.  He also wanted a system in place for revoking licences and preventing unregistered suppliers from operating at ports.

Checks on fuel quality have become increasingly important since an array of new fuel offerings emerged in the wake of the MARPOL Annexe V1, which sets limits on sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from ship exhausts.  In 2015, sulphur content in marine fuel used in Emission Control Areas (ECAs) will be limited to 0.10% by weight or lower.

The IBIA’s Hamburg convention also featured a workshop on the mass flow meter, provided by the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore, along with presentations from industry-leading figures on topics such as emerging markets and new fuels.

See the Parker Kittiwake website for information on fuel oil testing.

Importance of Bunker Fuel Sampling

Testing bunker fuel, the fuel oil used by ocean going ships or the tanks they’re stored in, is vital when it comes to bunkering processes. Marine fuel deliveries are measured by volume but paid for by mass, so testing allows ship owners to measure density and water content to calculate the mass of fuel delivered, ensuring the fuel is within the required specification under ISO 8217. Bunker fuel samples are also maintained for port state inspection under MARPOL 73/78 Annex VI, the regulation for the prevention of air pollution from ships.

Traditionally bunker fuel testing has been done off-site, with fuel samples being transported to a laboratory for testing. Whilst this practice remains still widely in place, on-site sampling can now be carried out in some circumstances.

Parker Kittiwake provide a number of tools to help with bunker fuel testing. Here we’ve listed three of our key tools used for bunker fuel testing:

Bunker fuel density
It is essential to measure density due to the way fuel is supplied. The fuel is delivered from a bunker barge and the volume of the transfer is measured, often by a meter. But the mass is directly proportional to the power that can be gained from using the fuel, so an accurate density calculation has a direct financial value. An on-site marine fuel density meter, such as the one from Parker Kittiwake, will accurately convert fuel volume to density – verifying that the correct grade of fuel has been delivered under ISO 8217. The meter can also estimate the combustion performance (CCAI) and correct viscosity in cP to cSt.

Bunker fuel oil viscosity
Testing the viscosity of fuel oil is important for several reasons, not only does it allow ship owners to verify that the correct grade of fuel has been delivered but there are also several benefits when it comes to the handling of the oil. Testing allows for the combustion performance to be calculated and determines the temperature at which the fuel should be handled. The Parker Kittiwake Heated Viscometer tests the viscosity of both residual fuel and  lube oil from a wide variety of applications, including diesel engines, gas and aviation turbines, gear boxes, hydraulics and marine fuels.

Water testing
The ISO 8217:2010 states that the amount of water found in fuel oil should not exceed 0.5% for residual fuels, and whilst most fuels contain less than 0.2%, water contamination can happen. Water contamination can occur from a number of sources, including leakage from oil coolers, condensation of atmospheric humidity and leakage at tank tents, to name a few. Water contamination within lubricating / lube oil storage tanks can lead to microbiological growth, forming yeast, mould and bacteria that will clog filters and very rapidly corrode fuel systems. The DIGI Water in Oil test kit has been used by thousands of ship operators over the last 20 years to check for both water in oil and BN depending upon the specification ordered.

Marine Fuel Oil Compatibility
Fuel oil compatibility testing tests the tendency of fuels to produce deposits when mixed. Our compatibility tester is a useful tool to quickly establish whether a fuel delivery will remain stable in the bunker tanks without excessive asphaltene drop-out, identify any problems in the stability of the blended fuels and help to prevent sludge deposits.

For further information contact us on:
Tel: +44 1903 731470

The Problems Delaying the Switch to LNG in Shipping Fuel

The shipping industry has found itself doing a U-turn when it comes to the use of LNG as shipping fuel. In the face of stricter emissions regulations coming into play in January 2015, ships must turn to an alternative, low sulphur fuel source. However, whilst the challenges of using LNG have previously made it an unpopular alternative, the shipping industry is now coming around to it as a shipping fuel.

LNG – liquefied natural gas –consists mainly of Methane, which is converted to liquid form at extremely low temperatures of -162°C. This shrinks the volume of the gas 600 times, making it easier to store and transport.

One of the main challenges of using LNG as shipping fuel is its unique properties, which make the switch from conventional fuels to LNG a difficult one.

LNG stored at low – cryogenic – temperatures
Due to the incredibly low temperatures needed to store LNG fuel, special storage tanks must be used in order to protect the rest of the vessel and crew. Only special materials can come into contact with the cryogenic temperatures of LNG, such as stainless steel, aluminium and Invar. Contact with personnel must also be avoided, making the design of LNG tanks much more intricate than those for conventional fuels.

Larger storage space needed
The storage space required for LNG is four times higher than the space needed for conventional fuels, such as diesel, for the same range. A safe area around the tank is needed in case of any accidental spillage, further increasing the storage space required.

Tanks must be ventilated
LNG shouldn’t be stored in an enclosed space due to its volatile nature. Therefore a ventilation system is essential.

LNG facilities are limited
As the shipping industry is only just beginning to wake up to the opportunities of LNG fuel, bunkering facilities are still very limited. For some ships it may be necessary to provide a back-up fuel option to ensure fuel availability.

Yet, despite these challenges, demand for LNG fuelled ships is expected to increase as a result of the new regulations. Currently there are only 40 LNG fuelled ships in operation around the world. But a recent study by Lloyd’s Register predicted there could be as many as 653 deep-sea fuelled LNG ships in operation by 2025, as ship operators search for a long-term solution.

For further information contact us on:
Tel: +44 1903 731470

Lowering Sulphur Emissions with Scrubbing Systems

New emissions rules being introduced in 2015 means ship owners worldwide are faced with a choice on how to comply. From January 2015 sulphur emissions limits will reduce 0.1%, leaving ship owners with two options to comply with the new regulations – switch to a low sulphur content fuel or use scrubbers to remove sulphur particulates.

Scrubbing systems remove the sulphur content of fuel from the exhaust gases after they’ve been burnt, meaning vessels can go on using their existing fuel.

The process of scrubbing exhausts has been used since the 1930s in industrial plants and marine vessels. The scrubbing process uses a fluid containing alkaline material which can absorb SOx and neutralise it. After this process the clean exhaust gases are released and the resulting waste product, or sludge, is stored on board and transferred on shore.

There are two types of scrubbing– wet scrubbing systems and dry scrubbing systems.

Wet Scrubbing Systems

Wet scrubbing systems use a combination of three types of water in the process of removing SOx from exhaust gases:

  • Seawater is used in some processes, because of its natural alkaline content. Water is drawn from the sea, used in exhausts to absorb sulphur from exhaust emissions before being returned to sea. Before it’s returned any oil and solid matter is removed.
  • Freshwater is often used on vessels where the natural alkalinity of seawater is not sufficient to react to the sulphur found in exhaust emissions. This process requires the addition of caustic soda (NaOH) which reacts with and absorbs sulphurous gases. Freshwater scrubbing reduces SOx emissions by 97.15%
  • A hybrid scrubbing system can also be used, which is a combination of both the above methods. Using this system can improve SOx emissions cleaning performance by 98-100%

Dry Scrubbing Systems

On-board dry scrubbing systems use granular hydrated (slaked) lime, which is converted to calcium sulphate, a by-product with commercial value in shore-side industry.

Scrubber units generally consist of a vessel or vessels that enable the exhaust streams from one or more engines or boilers to intimately mix with the ‘washwater’ or dry chemical.

Scrubber vendors typically quote the maximum sulphur content of the fuel that can be consumed by an engine so that emissions equivalent to using 0.1% sulphur fuel can be achieved. This varies between 3% and no upper limit, which in reality means that very high sulphur oxide removal rates of over 98% are possible.

For further information contact us on:
Tel: +44 1903 731470

ECA Compliance is Coming

Come January 2015 emissions of Sulphur Dioxide (SOx) in all Emissions Controlled Areas (ECAs) must be reduced to 0.1%.

ECAs, also known as Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECAs), cover the Baltic Sea, North Sea, English Channel and the waters 200 miles off the coasts of America and Canada, and were established to minimise pollution from ships as part of the 1997 MARPOOL Protocol. Since 2010 sulphur emissions have been set at 1.0%, but to meet the stringent targets emissions will be reduced again come January.

Why were ECAs introduced?
It became apparent that there were certain areas in the world where shipping activity was significantly higher and so Emissions Control Areas were set up to minimise damage to the environment. Typically a ship will release over 35,000 parts per million (ppm) of sulphur in its exhaust fumes. When you compare this to the average car, which releases less than 10 ppm, it is easy to see why reducing damaging exhaust emissions from shipping is important.

What is sulphur dioxide?
Sulphur naturally occurs in crude oil, which is concentrated in the residue of refinery distillation. The sulphur content found in fuel oils differs, from 1% (LSFO – low sulphur fuel oil) to over 4%, depending on the refining process. During combustion in a diesel engine, sulphur from the fuel is oxidised to sulphur dioxide (SO2). The oxidised product has effects on both the engine system and environment when emitted to the atmosphere.

The new compliance rules will apply to all vessels operating within any ECA. For ship owners there are two options to meet the requirements of the SOx emissions regulations:
Option 1: Switch to an alternative fuel with the correct sulphur content
Option 2: Install a scrubber to remove sulphur from the exhaust fumes following combustion

Find out more about marine emissions and compliance.

For further information contact us on:
Tel: +44 1903 731470