What Are Scrubbers In Container Shipping And How Do They Reduce Emissions?

(7 March, 2023)

A large container shipping ship representing reduced emissions for containerised shipping

In an effort to reduce the environmental impact of shipping, many container shipping operations have been turning towards scrubbers as a means of reducing emissions. But what are scrubbers, and how do they help? Let’s take a look at the technology and its benefits.

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What Is A Scrubber?

A scrubber is a device that uses water or another liquid to capture pollutants and extraction particles from exhaust gases – in this case from a container ship engine – before they are released into the environment. The process is known as "scrubbing." The most common type of scrubber used in container shipping is a wet scrubber, which works by spraying a fine mist of water into the exhaust gas stream. As the gas passes through the mist, particulate matter like sulphur dioxide (SO2), CO2 emissions, and nitrogen oxides (NOx) are trapped in the droplets. The resulting mixture then flows down into an absorptive material where it is captured and stored until it can be safely disposed of or recycled.

Sustainability Benefits Of Using Scrubbers

The primary benefit of using scrubbers on container ships – which each produce a huge volume of emissions during an oceanic voyage – is that they reduce air and sea pollution by capturing toxic particles before they are dumped into the ecosystem. This helps to improve air and water quality and reduce greenhouse gas quantities, which can have far-reaching effects on worldwide public health and the environment. They also help safeguard marine ecosystems and prevent the leakage of heavy metals and toxic substances into oceanic food chains – which are ingested by fish and often end up on people’s plates around the world.

What About Cost Savings?

There are also cost savings arising from the adoption of scrubbers, which may lead to a reduction in the cost of container shipping for consumers. Container ships use a vast quantity of fuel in their journeys, and the requirement to use expensively produced low carbon fuels has put upward pressure on worldwide prices. Scrubbers can help improve fuel efficiency by allowing ships to use cheaper fuels with higher sulphur content while still complying with environmental regulations. Scrubbers can also save money by reducing the operating costs associated with cleaning up after spills or leaks on board vessels.

Cost-Effective Containerised Car Transport Solutions From Trans-Rak

Scrubbers are one of several efficiency technologies currently being developed by container shipping companies, which may serve to reduce the long-term cost of container shipping for businesses. Another cost control strategy for car transport businesses using container ships is a reusable racking solution, such as our R-Rak or EL-Rak. These innovative and secure racking systems increase the number of cars you can ship inside each container, lowering your cost per unit and helping you increase the number of vehicles in each consignment.

For more information about containerised car transport, please call one of our technical sales team on 01926 408282 or click here to download a copy of our free Containerised Car Transport Guide.

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The Containerised Car Transport Guide

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