How a healthy & viable shipping industry can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Global prosperity is built on shipping and trade.  The world as we know it would be unthinkable without the container shipping industry: however, its size and international scope also make it a focus of critical attention in any discussion about greenhouse gas emissions.

Concern about the shipping industry’s own prosperity was apparent in an address by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) to a United Nations meeting on the Law of Sea in early April.  The ICS stated that only if the shipping industry is commercially viable will it be able to invest in environmental and social improvements. It is estimated that implementing new environmental regulations will cost the industry over $500 billion over the next decade – one reason why the ICS argues that economic considerations should be given weight when drawing up similar regulations in the years to come.

Although carbon dioxide emissions from international shipping, on the decline in recent years, are now expected to rise again as the global economy strengthens, shipping continues to compare favourably with other forms of commercial transport, and operators are looking at ways of limiting emissions:

Running vessels at slower speeds – ‘slow steaming’ has already seen fuel costs and emissions fall.

Improving the efficiency of engines and propellers – as vessels have grown to super-sized proportions, their operators can fairly claim that energy efficiency and economies of scale have increased too.  One of the world’s largest container ships, Maersk Line’s Triple E, has a squarer profile which enables it to carry more containers.  It also has a redesigned engine and state-of-the-art waste heat recovery system.

Opening the door to innovative ideas – experts believe technology such as Flettner rotors could play a role in container shipping.  Flettner rotors are, in effect, sailing systems which use the wind for propulsion, reducing reliance on fossil fuel-burning engines.  However, they are expensive to install and can make unloading operations more difficult.

Switching to alternative fuels – these include biofuels – Maersk Line has been experimenting with algae biofuel – and Liquid Natural Gas (LNG).

Installing seawater scrubbers in this type of scrubbing, the alkalines in the water react with the sulphur oxides in the exhaust and neutralise them.  No additives are required.  The technology has been approved by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and enables operators to continue using their existing fuel rather than switch to a low sulphur alternative.  A range of analysers from Procal, including the Procal P2000, are currently monitoring exhaust gases in marine scrubbing systems.

Since the revised MARPOL Annexe VI regulations limiting sulphur in fuel came into effect, checks on fuel quality have never been so important.  Operators around the world call on the market leading skills of Parker Kittiwake for bunker fuel sampling and testing: for more information please call the team on +44 1903 731470.

Parker Kittiwake Announces Launch of Two New Water Glycol Condition Monitoring Tools

This week sees the launch of Parker Kittiwake’s latest online condition monitoring tools, the icountPD water-glycol particle detector, along with its offline, lab quality partner, the icountBS Water Glycol instrument.

Monitoring water glycol cleanliness limits helps identify fluid contamination in assets critical to the safety of a platform, vessel or machine, such as blowout preventers (BOPs), Crown Mounted Compensators (CMCs) and Riser Tensioner Systems, which cannot be compromised. BOPs, for example, can be damaged by the ingress of contaminated fluid into the umbilical, leading to potentially catastrophic results if the contaminants cause blockages in the system leading to safety components sticking.

The online Parker icountPD particle detector provides continuous real-time analysis of contaminants, whilst the icountBS bottle sample test monitors the fluid onboard and in real time using a sensor directly in the water flow. The tests provide operators with a comprehensive overview of the condition of the fluid, improving safety, reducing wear and increasing uptime.

The Parker water-glycol tests allows operators to make confident, informed decisions onboard regarding maintenance and asset management, without the need to wait for laboratory testing. Armed with this information, operators are better equipped to prevent damage and optimise the operational output of the vessel or platform to realise maximum profits.

The iPD Water Glycol joins other recent additions to Parker Kittiwake’s online condition monitoring products, such as the ThrusterSCAN test.  Designed for early stage fault detection on vessels with large azimuth thruster units (an arrangement of rotating propellers), the system gives warning of impending problems, such as seal failure.

Parker Kittiwake has over 20 years’ experience developing online and on-site oil analysis solutions, which give operators the quick information they need to keep machinery running smoothly for longer.  If you would like more information on the iPD Water Glycol or the iBS Water Glycol, contact us on 01903 731470.  A detailed product description can be found here:

Diane and Nicola’s Cromer Crab Walk for Hospice Appeal Fund

If you’re travelling through Norfolk on 11th May you might just spot a couple of giant shellfish wearing walking boots.

This is the day Parker Hannifin employees, Diane Wheeler and Nicola Smith, are setting out on a 96 mile trek from Knettishall to Cromer to raise money for a Norfolk hospice.   Hiking such a distance along the Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path in a single day is no simple task in the best of circumstances and for Diane and Nicola it will be more arduous still because they will be dressed as a crab and a lobster!

The Nook appeal was launched last year by its patron, the Duchess of Cambridge, to raise money for a new facility for EACH (East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices).  Demand for EACH’s services means the popular existing hospice at Quidenham has been outgrown and new premises are vital if the charity is to provide support and respite care for even more children with life-threatening conditions.  Planning permission has been granted for a well-equipped building five miles south of Norwich, to be named The Nook, which will provide a tranquil setting for the young people and their families.

Diane and Nicola have found inspiration from the experiences of Eden King, whose Dad, Rod, is a Parker Hannifin colleague.  Eden, who has congenital muscular dystrophy, finds the help EACH offers her family invaluable.  As Diane says, the fundraising effort is “about the support we want to show to a family we have grown to love and admire”.

So if you would like to shell out for our intrepid crustaceans, a dedicated page on the JustGiving website offers a simple and safe way to donate.

The Nook project will only be realised with the support of public donations.  Big or small, every penny will count.

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.

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

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