The world of technology continues to meet the first, but the effects it renders on our environment are becoming unbearable. With every passing day, environmentalists are becoming more and more concerned about the hazards of air pollution for the sustainability of our environment. The marine industry has a much larger proportion in disturbing the natural setting of our environment as the hazardous chemicals released from the engines of ships, affect our health. However, a French shipping company, La Méridionale, has recently revealed that it is now using filters with its ferry’s engines that will capture all of the contaminants released into the atmosphere. The company also claims to be the pioneer in implementing this technology.
As per the company, “Our innovative ship, Le Piana, uses filters to capture almost all air pollutants from the boat’s exhaust fumes. The filters captured 99 percent of sulfur oxides emitted by the ferry’s four engines, as well as 99.9 percent of particulate matter created from the burning of its heavy fuel. ” Moreover, Christophe Seguinot, who is working as a technical director for the company, said, “We didn’t have to look too far. We didn’t invent anything. The challenge for us was to make it suitable for a marine setting. “
It should be noted that the filters integrated with the engines of this ship use the same technology already available in incineration facilities or at power plants. In order to initiate a chemical reaction with the contaminants, sodium bicarbonate is injected into the exhaust gases, which would serve as a source for eliminating these contaminants. As we know, the dense brown fumes emancipated by ships are due to the use of heavy fuel oil. Although this “bunker oil” is inexpensive, it comes at the cost of polluting the air.
Christophe Seguinot says, “The ferry company has a contract with chemicals supplier Solvay, which will dispose of the hazardous filter residue with the intention of recycling it later.” However, the areas that are in dire need of such filtered engine fume-based ships are ports in North America, the North Sea, and the Baltic Sea in Europe.
To that end, you would be stunned to know that around 6.5 million premature deaths occurred in 2016 due to air pollution, as reported by the UN. For this reason, La Méridionale is working on a mission to restrict the use of sulfur in marine fuels by as much as 0.1% till 2025. In addition to this, France’s regional air quality monitoring body, said, “Air pollution has an annual economic impact on France of about 100 billion euros (around 99 billion USD), mostly in the form of increased health care costs.”
On the other hand, the UN said that if the situation continues, the number of deaths due to air pollution will double by 2050, and for this, they have also issued warnings. According to the UN, “This year’s theme of ‘The Air We Share’ focuses on the transboundary nature of air pollution, stressing the need for collective accountability and action. The theme highlights the need for immediate and strategic international and regional cooperation for more efficient implementation of mitigation policies and actions to tackle air pollution.”