Hong Kong: Kenneth Koo, the chairman of Hong Kong’s Tai Chong Cheang Steamship, has long been a pioneer of novel ship design tweaks. His company has now supported researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) Viterbi School of Engineering in developing a more efficient method to initiate combustion, providing a breakthrough, technological step forward in clean shipping design. The technology, Transient Plasma Ignition (TPI), would allow marine diesel ships to reduce emissions, increase fuel economy and meet the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) stringent emissions mandate with minimal modifications.
“We are thrilled to approach the cusp of a true clean shipping solution, especially on the heels of the recent United Nations Climate Summit,” said Koo. “This epic endeavour strives to achieve reduction in harmful emissions and significant fuel consumption savings without additional investments into peripheral hardware such as scrubbers, chillers, hull coatings or fundamental modifications to the hull. It will be an immense boon for the shipping industry.”
TPI facilitates combustion by using energetic electrons that break the molecular bonds in fuel and air creating an alternate chemistry. This new environment allows for a more complete combustion, minimizing the amount of remaining unburned hydrocarbons, which translates to significant fuel savings and reduced emissions.
The technology aims to reduce vessel fuel consumption by 3%, which could equal fuel savings up to $5,000 per day, and a reduction in the emission of airborne pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur oxides (SOx) both through its radical chemistry and improved efficiency.
“Unlike other costly emissions-reducing technology, fuel alternatives and retrofits, Transient Plasma Ignition is designed to work in current diesel engines with minimal modifications, making this technology a potential ‘silver bullet’ for shipping companies to meet the ECA standards,” said Yannis C. Yortsos, Dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. “We are working closely with TCC Group and Amergent Techs to continue developing this technology with the eventual goal of implementation throughout the international maritime fleet.” [27/10/14]