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Updated: Aug 27, 2022

Friday 26 August, 2022

There are more than 9,300 superyachts above 24m (78 feet) on the world’s seas today, and it’s been estimated the average large superyacht emits 7,020 tonnes of CO2 every year. Whilst the industry has become much greener focused and keen to highlight their new green credentials, the use and implementation of different technologies will prove vital in reducing yachts’ impact on global warming.

There are three major types of CO2 capture systems: post-combustion, pre-combustion and oxyfuel combustion. Pre-combustion and oxy-fuel combustion remove carbon from the fuel and help produce hydrogen and oxygen for combustion. Both the pre-combustion and oxy-fuel combustion systems require integration into the fuel supply and power generation system, and currently are under feasibility studies for ships but might remain too bulky for yachts. The post-combustion method captures CO2 from marine exhaust and therefore can be added with minimal alteration to the engine.

Carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technology still has some way to go for yachting. The traditional solvent based capture methods are bulky, and impractical enough for ships let alone yachts currently but is making some headway. These solvent scrubbers are largely adapted from similar technology already in use neutralising NOx and SOx.

Other capture initiatives within the shipping industry are seeking to utilise technology integrated within the smoke stacks of ships, routing the exhaust through a batch of calcium-oxide pellets. The carbon-dioxide will then bind to form calcium-carbonate, basically - limestone.

The storage element of this CCUS technology is then storing the end result aboard before dropping off ashore to be recycled into another product or trapped in geological storages. The difficulty for yachts however, is finding the space to accommodate the storage element.

It’s not just in the technologies too. Plenty of initiatives worldwide work to plant trees, restore mangroves and seagrasses and the promotion of healthy ocean’s in helping to offset a lot of the impact made from CO2 emissions. A lot of water-based plant life store CO2 in their roots and other structures. It’s no surprise then that many yacht owners opt for offsetting their carbon emissions this way.

The other methods involved in reducing in carbon emissions for yachts, can be found in hybrid propulsion and alternative fuels. Read our story about alternative fuels for superyachts here.

To find out how we can help reduce your yacht emissions for your own carbon use, a superyacht or a new build yacht project, get in touch with the SWM Yachts yacht management team.



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