Development of Parametric Trend Life Cycle Assessment for marine SOx reduction scrubber systems

Jang, Hayoung and Jeong, Byongug and Zhou, Peilin and Ha, Seungman and Nam, Dong and Kim, Joongwon and Lee, Jae-ung (2020) Development of Parametric Trend Life Cycle Assessment for marine SOx reduction scrubber systems. Journal of Cleaner Production. ISSN 0959-6526 (In Press)

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In response to the impending international maritime regulation, MARPOL Annex VI Reg. 14, to curb sulphur oxides (SOx) arising from shipping activities, this paper aimed to evaluate the environmental impacts of the entire life cycle of three different SOx reduction scrubber systems: (1) ‘wet open-loop’, (2) ‘wet closed-loop’, and (3) ‘wet hybrid’. To achieve this goal, the paper developed ‘the Parametric Trend Life Cycle Assessment (PT-LCA)’ which was introduced to proceed the extensive analysis for a number of case ship studies and quantify various emissions, such as greenhouse gases (GHG), sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), associated with the proposed systems from cradle to grave. A case study designed with the database consisting of 1,565 ocean-going Ro-Ro vessels based on Lloyd’s Register has revealed that, in terms of Global Warming Potential (GWP) and Acidification Potential (AP), closed-loop scrubbers were proven more environmentally friendly than open-loop scrubbers, but the opposite was true for Eutrophication Potential (EP). By identifying specific trends in scrubber systems in relation to various input parameters, the assessment contributed to improving environmental sustainability, as well as the total estimated amount of numerical environmental impacts that the scrubber systems have for the international fleets. The proposed framework enabled us not only to evaluate the different emission levels of systems applied to various ships but also to obtain the general trends of emission levels over ship parameters, which were expressed as formulae. The novelty of this paper can be placed on the provision of an insight into the optimal selection of scrubber systems depending on ship characteristics. It could also offer an insight into the improvement of current environmental regulations and guidelines by means of PT-LCA.