A small US-based technology company has developed a machine, De-Sul, which it says can be used on ships to turn high sulphur heavy fuel oil (HSFO) into a product complying with the upcoming 0.50% sulphur limit. Green Framework claims De-Sul is an inline fuel grooming device which removes almost all the sulphur from HSFO bunker fuels, with a minimum of complication and power requirement, saying it can be fitted in a matter of days.
Green Framework believes the machine could be a “ground breaking solution” in efforts to meet the 2020 sulphur limit, offering a lower cost alternative to scrubbers. It weighs about 5 tonnes and is said to have a small footprint and a power requirement of approximately 50 kW to 150 kW, depending on the ship’s fuel consumption.
Company CEO Barbara Dutton-Weingarten says De-Sul grooms the fuel at a molecular level. Bunkers are then passed through a filtration system to remove the sulphur-carrying compounds before the clean fuel is delivered to the day tanks. The company envisages that the heavy materials that are filtered out after grooming can be stored on the ship. This post processing residue would be a pumpable heavy sludge which can be returned to shore for further processing into elemental sulphur, recovered fuel and other saleable compounds, according to Green Framework.
The company is currently looking for distribution and development partners to bring the product to the wider shipping market. If De-Sul is proven to work in practice, and ship owners are convinced that the by-product of the fuel processing can be safely and conveniently stored on the ship and later discharged ashore, it could become an interesting alternative for compliance with the global sulphur cap.
This article first appeared in the Autumn 2017 edition of World Bunkering, the only official magazine of IBIA