8 Oct 2014
A new player in the exhaust after-treatment market?
L’Orange, a subsidiary of Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG, has introduced a new product, L’ONOX, for exhaust after treatment in the marine industry. L’ONOX is said to support the reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel and heavy fuel oil engines and aims to aid compliance with new emission limits for large engines beginning in 2016.
The International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Tier III regulations, which will come into force in 2016 for vessels over 500gt and in 2021 for vessels under 500gt, represent a challenge for all manufacturers of large engines as it calls for a reduction to approximately two grams of nitrogen oxide. However, the development team at L'Orange claims to be supporting engine manufacturers with the required reduction of nitrogen oxides with an innovative solution in the exhaust after-treatment process.
“L'ONOX injects a urea-water solution at a pressure of about 10 bar into the exhaust system through several dosing units,” the company explains. “To ensure accurate dosage amounts, the L'ONOX system’s electronic components continuously monitor the signals from the integrated pressure and temperature sensors. True to the proven common-rail principle, several injection units are supplied by a single delivery unit. The precise injection process ensures optimal mixing of the urea-water solution in the exhaust system. This supports the efficient reduction of nitrogen oxides into nitrogen and water in the SCR catalytic converter.”
It is important to remember, however, that the exhaust after treatment market is vast when considering all the different types of marine activity it applies to, which calls into question this particular product’s applicability to the superyacht sector. SuperyachtNews.com contacted L’Orange to find out to what extent, if at all, they were targeting the superyacht industry, and whether they had any clients within the sector, but received no response. As a result, we contacted an established exhaust after treatment player in the superyacht industry to find out if the new product offers different from existing solutions on the market.
Captain Ted Sputh, founder of clean-exhaust, was able to offer a comparison. “L’Orange and clean-exhaust are both trying to make our environment cleaner,
but as I see it, the process and the end result are different,” he explains. “Clean-exhaust will work on any vessel, old or new, with a gas or water separator muffler system, which is the norm for most of the superyacht industry. If my interpretation of the L’Orange system is correct, a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) converter is necessary for it to function. SCR converters came into use in the late 1970s so any superyacht that wanted to use this system would have to have been delivered after about 1980. If the vessel doesn’t have a catalytic converter, the retrofit might be very expensive. To my knowledge, I am only aware of Christensen Yachts using a catalytic converter at this time on superyachts.”
“The most important point is that clean-exhaust is a new fresh idea. Using urea and water through a catalytic converter was invented about 40 years ago and many companies are using the same process. My bet is that the Engelhard Corporation, which patented the process of using ammonia as a reducing agent in 1957, is continuing to reap benefits from the L’Orange process.”
While L’Orange’s new product may not be unique on the market, and does not appear to be as applicable to the superyacht market as some existing solutions, Captain Sputh believes that there remains a common aim. “Clean-exhaust’s main objective is to help facilitate cleaner air for our crew to breathe, cleaner oceans for sustaining life and cleaner hulls for owners, guests and crew to enjoy,” he concludes. “It is my hope that any company that’s trying to improve diesel exhaust has the same goal.”
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