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Case Study: Solvay and Sodaflexx Collaborate on Dry Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems

Solvay and Sodaflexx Collaborate on Dry Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems for Ocean Vessels 

Key Figures

  • SOLVAir®/Sodaflexx technology selected for Yeoman Bridge and Bontrup Amsterdam vessels due to cost-effectiveness, equipment footprint reduction and system sustainability profile
  • Dry Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (EGCS) enables  use of heavy sulfur fuel oil (HSFO) with extremely low sorbent usage and minimal power consumption 
  •  The dry EGCS  can treat both main and auxiliary engines
  • The equipment can be adapted to any type of vessel and/or engine size


What are the needs of Bontrup?

The Dutch shipping company Bontrup sought a dry Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (EGCS) to comply with IMO 2020 regulations and capitalize on the flexibility of using an EGCS compatible with heavy sulfur fuel oil (HSFO) to support operations into and out of SECA.


How did Solvay contribute to developing the Dry Exhaust Gas Treatment System?

Solvay and Sodaflexx met for the first time in Brussels at Solvay’s headquarters in 2019 to investigate the feasibility of adapting the dry EGCS  technology widely used in on-land installations to marine environments. Solvay’s  proposed solution addressed challenges with respect to space and weight limitations on the vessels, as well as how to simplify the sorbent’s supply (i.e., a cartridge solution). 

Together, the companies embarked on an exciting journey in which Solvay’s experts assisted Sodaflexx in developing an efficient system for ocean-going vessels. The project faced several challenges, from seeking efficient fluidization mediums to optimization of sorbent consumption. 

Sodaflexx and Solvay worked closely  to design the powder storage and handling components, drawing on the companies’ decades of experience with dry powder operations, as well as the knowledge obtained from SOLVAir® operations on land related to abatement efficiency.   Through testing, the companies identified SOLVAir® S350 as the most efficient sodium bicarbonate sorbent.

In early 2021, Sodaflexx installed their dry EGCS onboard the 96,772 DWT bulker Yeoman Bridge. Due to the relative simplicity of the installation, the Yeoman Bridge project took only a few days to complete, including the time required for equipment transportation.

After the first voyage, we immediately noticed the great effectiveness of the Solvay sorbent in reducing sulphur emissions, but Bontrup was not yet satisfied with the consumption. It was essential to obtain a sorbent consumption not exceeding 15% of the fuel used.

Sander Castel , CTO Sodaflexx

The system was proven highly efficient and cost-effective.

After a period of sailing with our programmer present on a vessel, we were able to fine-tune the system and obtain the desired sorbent consumption. Consumption currently averages 12% of the fuel used. The system has operated for thousands of hours without significant issues, with low CAPEX and OPEX requirements. Adding further to the benefits of the system, bicarbonate sorbent is safe, eliminating potential health hazards related to alternate technologies.

Sander Castel , CTO Sodaflexx

Consequently, Bontrup has made a decision to install a second SodaFlexx system for their 65,402 DWT bulker, Bontrup Amsterdam, in 2022. Solvay hopes that these positive developments will increase awareness of EGCS dry powder technology as a viable option to help the maritime sector comply with existing and future IMO regulations. Together, Solvay and Sodaflexx continue working to deliver customers the highest level of service and support as they seek new solutions.

The transition to an emissions-free future is a serious challenge, but it is also an opportunity for the business to make environmentally responsible strategic decisions and achieve business goals within sustainability targets. The SodaFlexx system utilizing SOLVAir® sorbents represents an outstanding innovation, well balanced in terms of cost-effectiveness and environmental impact.

Sipke de Vries, Bontrup Logistics General Manager