The following is the text of a press release issued by the Port of Los Angeles:
(SAN PEDRO, Calif.) — The Port of Los Angeles and California State University Long Beach (CSULB) Foundation will develop and test a new $1.8 million seawater scrubber vessel system next spring that has the potential to reduce emissions by as much as 85 percent.
Seawater scrubbers feature advanced emission control technology in which seawater is used to scrub, or filter, contaminants from a shipâ€™s auxiliary engines before exiting the exhaust stack of a ship. Once solid carbon contaminants have been removed, the seawater used during the process is then treated, cleansed and discharged. The solid contaminants are contained and collected for later disposal.
â€œSeawater exhaust scrubbers show great long-term promise for reducing ship emissions,â€ said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. â€œItâ€™s innovative, next-generation technologies like these that will greatly contribute to better air quality and greener, cleaner port operations in the future. Weâ€™re glad we can be the catalyst to make that happen.â€
â€œOne of CSULBâ€™s missions, in addition to its primary mission of providing high quality education, is to support community needs economically, environmentally and in other ways. Pollution is not only a global issue but also a significant local problem. If we as a university can help with that, I believe we have made a very significant contribution,â€ said Hamid Hefazi, professor and chair of CSULBâ€™s mechanical and aerospace engineering department, and one of the co-principal investigators overseeing the project.
Seawater scrubber systems have been shown to substantially reduce ship exhaust emissions, including 85 percent for particulate matter (PM), 50 percent for sulfur oxide (SOx), and three percent for nitrogen oxides (NOx). Such technology is of particular interest to large ships needing to meet new International Maritime Organization requirements for cleaner fuel and engine technology when these large vessels operate in designated areas along the coast.
Under CSULBâ€™s leadership, Rolls Royce Marine â€“ a world leader in ship technology design and manufacturing â€“ will integrate and test a Belco Technologies Corporation (BELCO®)) seawater scrubber system on a Horizon Lines containership, a vessel scheduled to make monthly calls to the Port of Los Angeles from Shanghai. BELCO® is a subsidiary of the E.I. du Pont de Nemours Company.
CSULBâ€™s other co-principal investigator is Hamid Rahai, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and interim associate dean for research at CSULBâ€™s college of engineering. Rahai also runs the CSULB Center for Energy and Environment Research and Services (CEERS).
Funding for the 36-month pilot project was made possible by the Port of Los Angelesâ€™ $20 million Air Quality Mitigation Incentive Program. Established in 2004, the program provides financial incentives to spur evaluation and implementation of air pollution reduction projects.
The CSULB/Rolls Royce Marine seawater scrubber pilot is the second for the Port of L.A.; another similar project was launched earlier this year by the Port in conjunction with APL and the Port of Long Beach.
The Port of Los Angeles is Americaâ€™s premier port and has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy as well as the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port supports more than 830,000 regional jobs and $35 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars.