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Shipping companies including NYK, Sovcomflot, Knutsen OAS and Ardmore, shipbuilders including DSME, and the mining company Vale are working with Denmark-based Maritime Development Center to develop an onboard carbon capture and storage solution.

The DecarbonICE project is focused on capturing onboard the CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG)  in the ship exhaust and, through a cryogenic process, turning them into dry ice. Offshore technology will then be applied to transport the dry ice into the seafloor sediments where the CO2 will be safely and permanently stored as liquid CO2 and CO2 hydrate.

The decarbonICE concept is intended for ship newbuildings, but it can also be applied to retrofit existing ships, thereby providing an opportunity to accelerate the transition towards the IMO’s GHG targets. According to the project partners, in combination with future carbon neutral fuels like biofuels and electro fuels, the decarbonICE technology can create carbon negative shipping and thus contribute to atmospheric carbon reduction at a significantly lower cost than shore-based carbon capture.

The project began on 1 October 2019 and will run through 2020. The aim is to prepare a feasibility study and to initiate the IMO approval process for the technology.

‘While we support a final goal of availability of zero carbon or carbon neutral fuels, we believe that a bridging carbon free solution is needed, which can utilise existing assets in terms of ships, propulsion systems and fuels,’ said Chairman of the decarbonICE project, former DNVGL President and CEO Henrik O. Madsen.

‘The decarbonICE project is intended to offer exactly that, and at a predicted low energy penalty well below 10%.

‘The maritime industry seems to be overlooking that on-board carbon capture with subsequent storage at appropriate sites may also qualify as a carbon free solution,’ noted Odin KWON, CTO of DSME.

‘At DSME we are following several Korean research groups studying the behaviour of CO2 injected into seabed sediments. The success of the decarbonICE project will also depend on how the required power can be minimised for the cryogenic cooling process.’

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