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US firm tests emissions extraction and measurement system

06 Oct 2009 11:01 GMT

New product enables extraction and measurement of emissions in one system.



WR Systems, Ltd., a US information technology (IT) and engineering firm, is currently testing an emissions monitoring system that will aim to help ship owners and operators meet tough new air pollution regulations.

The Fairfax, Virginia-based company has been working on a laser-based system that will extract emissions from vessels' smokestacks and analyze them for various contaminant levels while plotting the ship's location with a GPS device.

WR Systems is in the process of testing a prototype of its Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (CEMS) with the help of Norfolk-based Maersk Line Ltd., which WR Systems claims will be the first to enable extraction and measurement of both gases and particulate matter in one system. It will be capable of recording levels of sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide and particulates.

The monitoring system passed preliminary tests on a recent journey to New Jersey aboard the Maersk Georgia in September. It is now undergoing further extensive reviews on a trans-Atlantic trip aboard the same vessel, which is scheduled to arrive back in Hampton Roads at the beginning of next month.

The device is expected to be sold for less than $140,000 when the product is launched to the maritime market.

Commenting on the new product to The Virginian-Pilot, Megan Jones, maritime transportation project manager with WR Systems said "It's another attempt to stay ahead of the curve. We were glad to offer up the platform. If the system indicates the ships are above the regulatory threshold as they approached the zone, they could throttle back, simply reduce their speed, or switch to a low-sulfur fuel, which is mandatory in most ports anyway".

"It's an attempt by Maersk to be more proactive in our compliance efforts with existing regulations and regulations that we know to be coming,"said Tom Kiernan, a Maersk Line Ltd. project manager who specializes in environmental issues and performance monitoring.






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