Alfa Laval’s SOx scrubber platform PureSOx is available in multiple operating arrangements, two scrubber designs and a range of compliance profiles for meeting the 2020 global sulphur cap. Working closely with customers, Alfa Laval said it is pursuing improvements and options to make it even more flexible and optimized.
PureSOx was launched in 2012 to let vessels meet SOx limits while continuing to use economical heavy fuel oil. In the years since, it has evolved into a highly flexible scrubber platform, fully prepared for the 2020 global sulphur cap.
Today PureSOx development continues, through both ongoing optimization and the introduction of new options. At the Alfa Laval Test & Training Center, in particular, the platform is being adapted for a wide range of customer needs.
“Compliance is always in focus, but customers have a broad spectrum of other requirements,” said Erik Haveman, Sales Director, Exhaust Gas Cleaning. “Those can go well beyond open-loop, closed-loop and hybrid arrangements, or the choice between U- and I-designs. Today we can match a vessel’s sailing profile by optimizing PureSOx for different compliance needs, and we offer many options to suit a vessel’s individual circumstances.”
Developing for and with customers
As PureSOx has evolved, Alfa Laval’s knowledge and resources have been put to use. Alfa Laval core technologies are found not only in the scrubber itself, but also in the patented separator technology of its water cleaning unit and in the heat exchangers used for cooling the circulation water. Additionally, PureSOx has played a central role in much of the work at the Alfa Laval Test & Training Center in Aalborg, Denmark.
The scrubber at the center has been used in developing the PureSOx platform, but also for solving individual customer challenges in exhaust gas cleaning. Designed for 1.5 MW, it can be pushed to its physical limits by the center’s 2 MW engine, which would be unsafe and impractical on board.
“In the controlled environment of the Alfa Laval Test & Training Center, we can really work with extremes,” Haveman explained. “This lets us innovate and meet design targets more quickly, but it also allows us to explore customer-specific challenges and inquiries. For example, we can look for the best way to cool a hot scrubber for start-up, or find ways to adapt the system for a particular engine type.”
Improvements and options for greater optimization
Work at the Alfa Laval Test & Training Center and elsewhere has meant continuous improvement of the PureSOx platform, especially with regard to size and resource use. A significant size reduction for the U-design scrubber was announced last year, and tests have been performed with many different filling elements and sprayer arrangements to find the lower possible water consumption. Minimizing pressure drop across the system, which reduces fuel consumption by the engine, is a further area of focus.
Likewise, new options are being introduced at a steady pace. “Recently we introduced an option for open-loop scrubbing that complies with the strict pH requirements of the US Vessel General Permit,” Haveman said. “For cruise ships and other high-profile vessels, we have also released an Exhaust Gas Reheater option, which warms the exhaust gas plume to reduce the chance of it being visible.”
Combined with multiple operating arrangements, a choice of scrubber designs and the new Global, ECA and Flex compliance profiles, options like these allow the platform to address the specific needs of most vessels on the market. “As the 2020 global cap approaches, more ship owners and operators will be looking at scrubber solutions than ever before,” Haveman said. “Whatever their sailing profile or vessel constraints, the PureSOx platform will give them the flexibility and peace of mind they seek.”