November 26, 2020

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Alfa Laval PureCool targets methane slip from LNG engines

Alfa Laval
Photo courtesy of Alfa Laval

A new system for reducing marine emissions has entered Alfa Laval’s Pure Thinking portfolio. Targeting methane slip from LNG engines, the Alfa Laval PureCool system continues a leadership journey of nearly two decades. 

“We recognize our responsibility, both to our customers and to generations to come,” says Sameer Kalra, president, Alfa Laval Marine Division. “Alfa Laval is committed to meeting environmental challenges, which have grown more diverse and interconnected. Between our depth of experience and our involvement with many different onboard applications, we can take a comprehensive approach.”

Tackling methane slip

The new Alfa Laval PureCool system targets an unaddressed emission source: methane slip. This is the small percentage of unburned methane that escapes through the engine when LNG is used as fuel. Although no regulations currently exist for it, there is growing awareness of methane slip’s climate impact.

“LNG is proving an important bridge fuel in the transition to a zero-carbon future,” says Søren Hjorth Krarup, Business Unit president. “When combusted, LNG releases less CO2 than other fossil fuels. However, methane has a higher global warming potential than CO2, which makes the unburned fraction a concern. Regulations may or may not appear, but methane slip must be addressed if we are to reach a 50% reduction in marine greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

Partnering across the marine industry

PureCool exemplifies Alfa Laval’s forward thinking, but also the cooperation needed to meet ambitious environmental goals. Realised in partnership with engine developer WinGD, it is the main component of iCER technology, an option for next-generation WinGD X-DF engines where exhaust gas is recirculated at low pressure. With PureCool as the vital cascade exhaust gas cooling system, iCER slashes methane slip by up to 50% ­– while creating a 3% gain in fuel efficiency.

“Partnerships can bring the dramatic results needed to fight climate change,” says Kalra. “This is why Alfa Laval joined the Getting to Zero Coalition, and it is why we pursue joint projects with suppliers and research partners at the Alfa Laval Test & Training Centre. By pulling together across the industry, we can solve our planet’s problems while protecting – or even improving – vessel operations and economy.”

A solution for a new era

The PureCool system is a continuation of Alfa Laval’s long-term efforts, but Kalra notes it is also an important turn. PureCool fits neatly alongside Alfa Laval PureBallast (ballast water treatment), PureBilge (bilge water treatment), PureNOx LS & HS (NOx abatement), PureSOx (SO abatement) and PureVent (crankcase gas cleaning). However, it is the first Pure Thinking solution specifically for LNG and a new fuel era.

“Emission restrictions are influencing fuel selection, which in turn affects so much else on board,” says Kalra. “Getting to 2050 will require even more fuel choices, including biofuels, which we will soon be testing at the Alfa Laval Test & Training Centre. Whether customers select LNG or another option, we will help them get the most benefit from it – environmentally and otherwise.”

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