MaK engines target IMO III requirements

As the global marine industry continues to evolve based on increasingly stringent regulations, Caterpillar Marine Power Systems has been focused on maximising research and development to satisfy requirements whilst minimising the impact on owning and operating costs.

The introduction of IMO II regulations from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on 1 January, 2011, will reduce the levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by approximately 20% in comparison to the current IMO I regulations. With these regulations in mind, Caterpillar Motoren has fully completed a strategy to release IMO II-compliant versions of the four MaK engine series.

However, the MaK engineers in Kiel, Germany, are already looking forward to the next major regulations milestone which will impact the marine industry, IMO III regulations. This new set of emission requirements will be enacted on 1 January, 2016, for emission control areas (ECAs) to further reduce NOx emissions from marine vessels. While most engine manufacturers are expecting to meet IMO II standards through combustion process optimization, reaching IMO III standards will typically require a great deal more engineering and development from the engine manufacturer.

MaK engineers are currently developing and testing a range of the following four solutions, which will be part of a ‘tool box’ offered to customers to assist in meeting IMO III regulatory standards. While none of these solutions are fully developed at this time, engineers at Caterpillar Motoren believe that the final solution offering for customers to meet IMO III standards will be a package of one or more of these solutions, based on individual customer needs. Further testing will ensure full compliance with the IMO III standards without sacrificing performance levels on the MaK engines.

Some of the most prominent solutions that are being tested include exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to reduce NOx levels, scrubber after-treatment technology to reduce sulphur levels and dual fuel engine technology that allows the engine to run on a combination of both diesel fuel and gas to reduce NOx, SOx and CO2.

There has been a clear increase in interest from the global marine industry into the dual fuel option and Caterpillar Motoren has launched a new product introduction (NPI) project to develop a dual fuel engine with a pilot launching in 2014.

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