Intro to Emission Standards for Marine Engines- Diesel Exhaust Fluid

Urea marine ships Houston TexasThe marine sector has been a hot topic during the last month inside forums and oher online groups. As our Diesel Exhaust Fluid Industry cotinues to roll out the EPA’s Emission Standards for all platforms, more and more questions continue to surface.  In typical TLT fashion, we are placing the spotlight today on Urea and the marine sector. The intent of this next blog article is to provide a general view of what is currently happening inside the marine sector, and the upcoming Urea (diesel exhaust fluid) and its SCR systems approach at cleaning up this old platform.

As more and more ships travel every week across our globe, the pollution caused by them continues to be on the rise, making them a major global concern  The two main pollutants (suspects) from the ship’s dirty engines are Nitrogen oxides (NOx) and Sulphur oxides (SOx). These gases have adverse effects on the ozone layer in the troposphere area of the earth’s atmosphere which results in the green house effect and global warming.  Both NOx and SOx are combustion products that are emitted in to the environment in the form of smoke.

The big concerns lies in the fact that these ships are major offenders in today’s NOx emmison control.  You could argue that static applications in power plants/industrial facilities would take the lead in the list of our world’s most severe air polluters, but that is not the case.   To save on fuel costs, ocean ships still use some of the lowest grade fuel, which has a high sulfur content and does not burn as clean as on road diesel among other applications.  I bet you did not know that.

This is where Urea (diesel exhaust fluid) will play as the key ingredient to reducing nitrogen oxides or NOx emissions from these dirty diesel engines.  

Marine is heating up and it is coming up fast.  There are several conversations happening within the industry on this topic, similarly to the off road sector.  If you recall, early on we set forth the following phases starting with Heavy Duty Highway Engines (on road), followed by off-road diesel engines, and last locomotive and marine applications.  Let’s take a look at what is happening in the marine word today. 

Urea DEF Marine ship Houston teasThese large marine diesel engines produce a tremendous amount of NOx.  To back this up, if you take a look at the fact that 15 of the world’s largest ships emit as much contaminates as all of the world’s 700 million cars, you would agree that something needed to be done. Furthermore, more and more information keeps emerging about the dangers of dirty diesel fumes and its impact on our lungs and other biological mutations.  Our industry is taken part in helping this cause, we are all part of this new clean air movement.  

So, far we know that marine will take a higher concentration of urea at 40% instead of the standard 32.5%.  Questions are being asked about whether all marine applications will run on this higher 40% concentration dosage.  Stay tuned to more details and start conversations with your customers now.  Let us know on your findings here so that we can display the information on this platform.

FACTOID: Ocean shipping is responsible for 18-30% of all the world’s nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution and 9% of the global sulfur oxide (SOx) pollution.


 Having a cause and motive, is enough to ignate a revolution.  Let’s not loose focus on the main principle behind our industry.  Next week, we will expand more on this topic:

1. What are the compression-ignition (diesel) marine engine standards?

2. Categories of marine diesel engines.

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Questions on Diesel Exhaust Fluid or its related equipment, visit our main DEF page or our contact us page.  We’ll be happy to discuss your questions.

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