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Baking powder rises as new green remedy for shipping

Sodium bicarbonate, a substance best known for its baking qualities, has emerged as a new scrubber solution. 

London-based SodaFlexx has created a concept to treat exhaust gas emissions from ships with sodium bicarbonate powder. The concept was adapted from proven land-based technology, where sodium bicarbonate powder is injected directly into the exhaust gas stream to neutralise sulphur compounds.  

A chemical reaction occurs converting SOx to a highly stable and non-toxic salt, sodium sulphate which is then either released safely into the atmosphere or can be captured by SodaFlexx’s bespoke cyclone particulate capture hybrid system and recycled ashore. 

After three years of trials, the SodaFlexx dry exhaust gas cleaning system was installed on the 96,772 dwt Yeoman Bridge, a bulk carrier owned by Bontrup, and the operations proved so successful that the owner has now contracted a second system to be installed on another ship, the Bontrup Amsterdam

The application is currently in the process of obtaining a US patent, and SodaFlexx is now trialling new technology adapting their proven powder delivery systems to treat and handle CO2 from marine engines.  Scale tests have shown promising results, and a shipboard installation is planned for Q1 2023.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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