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Greek SME develops innovative technology that reduces effectively Sulphur Oxides (SOx) in ship emissions aiming at engineering companies or investors for system development prior to commercialization

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Traction/Propulsion Systems
Air pollution control for cars and transport
Outdoor Air Pollution/Treatment
Waste disinfection / detoxification
Other transportation


A Greek engineering company, dealing with environmental applications, has designed a solution that allows ships to comply with the new regulation for the emissions. The Greek company is looking for partner to further development, prototyping, certification and commercial exploitation of the system. The types of collaboration sought will be either joint venture agreement with engineering company or financial agreement with investor.



Ships consume heavy fuel oil, in general. This oil contains sulphur which create significant amount of Sulphur Oxides (SOx). SOx are known to be harmful to human health, air and marine environment. In order to limit marine SOx emissions, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has introduced the regulation MARPOL Annex VI by which limits for emissions are set to 0,1% for Emission Control Areas and 0,5% globally concerning SOx. To comply with the new regulations ship-owners should invest a lot to technical solutions like using low sulphur fuel oil, hybrid oil, biofuels, and liquefied natural gas. In most cases, Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS) are used with the new fuel. The proposed fuels are expensive, scarce and could create problems to the existing vessel engines, which are not designed for these types of fuel. Scrubbers, which is the most common EGCS solution for the exhaust gasses is an unattractive or even impossible solution with the new standards. Usually they can remove SOx up to 95% (below the limit) and they use large amount of acid wash water disposed to the sea. Additionally, Flag States must approve such systems and port States can (as part of their port state control) ensure that such systems are functioning correctly. If a scrubber system is not functioning properly, port States can sanction the ship.

A Greek SME company, which specializes in environmental engineering, develops an innovative solution based on an innovative closed-loop scrubber which achieves almost complete neutralisation of sulphur. At the same time the engine could use the common heavy fuel that is available globally today. The solution is tested using chemistry simulation tools in collaboration with a Greek university. The design stage is already completed and the technology is close to production and commercial installation in ships on board. The system theoretically is able to eliminate 99.7% (constant and non-floating value) of the SOx exhausted by the ship's chimneys. The system uses seawater for its operation and disposes only a fraction of it to the sea with a pH of 8. This water is not contaminated with harmful substances since the water is not in contact with the exhaust gases.

The Greek company is looking for joint venture collaboration with engineering companies for developing further the system and join together for common commercial exploitation. Alternatively, financial agreement with a shipping company or investor to proceed to the stage of prototype development/creation prior to commercializing the product.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
The solution is expected to perform at 99,7% of SOx reduction. In effect, reduction of sulphur discharge in the fuel oil used on board ships will have tangible health benefits, particularly for populations living close to ports and major shipping routes. The solution is easy to install, using the existing heavy fuel. The amount of water required for open-loop scrubber (on ships of 57,000 tonnes) is 480 tonnes per hour while in the suggested technology uses only at 20 tonnes per hour which are not harmful to the environment. No maintenance costs required.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Under development/lab tested

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
The Greek company is looking for various partners and two types of collaboration. The aim is to produce a prototype, receive certification and then commercialize the system. During this process, the Greek SME anticipates the following potential collaboration opportunities. First, working with an engineering company under a joint venture agreement for producing the prototype and move towards the commercialization of the system. The partner expected to be experienced in prototype design and certification. The two partners expected to exploit commercially the system. A second, alternative collaboration could be a financial agreement with shipping companies or investors. In this case, the investor will bring the necessary funding of the prototyping, testing, certification and commercialization. The investor will benefit from the future installations. The cost for the prototype is quite low, expected to be less than 45.000 Euros.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,Inventor,>500 MNE,251-500,SME 51-250,>500