7 March, 2024

How Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) can reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the Gotland services

Gotlandsbolaget (Gotland Company) is collaborating with the Norwegian CCS firm Aqualung and several industrial and research partners to develop a technology that can capture carbon dioxide from the maritime industry. The project has received EU funding and support from, among others, the Swedish Energy Agency.

CCS technology, or carbon capture and storage, involves physically capturing carbon dioxide emissions and storing them underground or in seabeds. It is currently undergoing advanced testing across various industries such as lime, steel, aluminum, and cement production, and is now being developed to adapt it for application within the shipping sector. 


”Our solution uses a membrane technology that can filter and capture carbon dioxide emissions onboard ships. We believe that CCS is one of several key solutions for reducing carbon emissions in shipping, and our technology is ideal for spaces with limited room”, says Saravanan Janakiram, project manager Aqualung. 


The patented membrane technology has been developed after several years of research at NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) and features a water-based coating with polymers and graphene-based nanoparticles. These particles (around 200 nanometres) create an effective coating on the membrane and make it possible to separate carbon dioxide from other gases.   


“The system is designed to be efficiently placed near existing components and facilities, such as heating elements or exhaust pipes. This makes it a well-suited technology for places with limited space like ships. Our technology has a very high performance and efficient filtration of carbon dioxide from other gases,” says Saravanan Janakiram. 


Aqualung’s technology stands out by requiring significantly less energy than traditional CCS methods, needing only minimal pressure to allow gas to permeate through its membrane. Aqualung considers this innovation a future-oriented solution, promising both enhanced energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness. 


The collaboration, known as AMbCS (advanced membrane solutions for CCUS in Shipping), involves seven partners from three countries. Participating alongside Gotlandsbolaget and Aqualung in this initiative are the industrial firm Andritz, Belgian shipping company Victrol, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), and the Norwegian research institute SINTEF, including SINTEF Industry and SINTEF Energy. 


Aqualung’s CCS membrane solution will be integrated onboard one of Victrol’s tanker ships, and the project members will research and address the main obstacles that hinders the use of CCS in the shipping industry. This includes handling captured carbon dioxide in port among other things. The project, funded by a European cooperation initiative, will span over three years, and encompass several different applications, including long-distance shipping, ferry lines such as the Gotland ferry service, and shorter boat trips with regular stops at various locations, such as those operated by Victrol in Belgium. 


The need to decarbonise shipping is crucial to reduce the impact of maritime transportation on the climate. The collaboration between Aqualung and Gotlandsbolaget is an example of how new technologies are creating innovative ways to reduce emissions from existing vessels.