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Green Dock

Green Dock

New Technical Report Recommends Guidelines
For Reducing Sulfur Oxide Emissions

The much-respected Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers offers some important advice on dangerous emissions.

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

One of the fundamental principles of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME), an organization dating back to 1893, and one that rings true for this posting on the Boat & Yacht Report’s GREEN DOCK category, reads this way:

Using their knowledge, experience and skill for the enhancement of human well-being and as good stewards of the environment.

snamelogoSNAME’s lofty mission is to advance the art, science, and practice of naval architecture, shipbuilding and marine engineering. Since its inception, members have included commercial and governmental practitioners, students, and educators of naval architecture, shipbuilding, and marine and ocean engineering. The organization encourages the exchange and recording of information, sponsors applied research, offers career guidance, supports education, and enhances the professional status and integrity of its membership.

The latest efforts of the Society have resulted in a technical report that provides recommendations on technologies, practices and fuels that control and reduce sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions.

I’ll limit the chemistry lesson here and only mention that sulfur oxide refers to the many types of trbulletincompounds containing sulfur and oxygen, including SO2. According to the EPA, “sulfur dioxide (SO2) is one of a group of highly reactive gasses known as “oxides of sulfur.” The largest sources of SO2 emissions are from fossil fuel combustion at power plants (73%) and other industrial facilities (20%).  Smaller sources of SO2 emissions include industrial processes such as extracting metal from ore, and the burning of high sulfur containing fuels by locomotives, large ships, and non-road equipment. SO2 is linked with a number of adverse effects on the respiratory system. “ Sulfur oxide compounds are also water soluble.

SO2 causes a wide variety of health and environmental impacts because of the way it reacts with other substances in the air.  Particularly sensitive groups include people with asthma who are active outdoors, children, the elderly, and people with heart or lung disease. These Impacts include:

    • Respiratory Effects from Gaseous SO2
    • Respiratory Effects from Sulfate Particles
    • Visibility Impairment
    • Acid Rain
    • Plant and Water Damage
    • Aesthetic Damage

Limitations on SOx are currently in place with more stringent regulations coming in the near future. Designed to assist with SOx management and reduction on ocean-going vessels, Marine Vessel Environmental Performance (MVEP) Assessment Guide Air Emissions: Sulfur Oxides (SOx) provides options for assessing emissions performance along with a standard methodology for determining SOx output from a vessel.

Marine Vessel Environmental Performance (MVEP) Assessment Guide Air Emissions: Sulfur Oxides (SOx) was written by Mark West and Brian Ackerman, reviewed by the SNAME Technical & Research Panel EC-10 and approved by the Society’s Environmental Engineering Committee.

Identified as Technical and Research Bulletin 6-2 MVEP AE-1, the 495-page report has been published electronically and can be ordered on the SNAME Website at

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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Green Dock


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