Prohibition of open-loop scrubbers

The problem of water pollution is crucial now in every part of the planet. One of the reasons is SOx emissions that negatively influence both air and water environment. That is why it is not surprising that governments want to reduce the level of pollutants by all means. The most common way is the use of scrubbing systems that can be easily installed on shipboard and allow getting rid of emission issue.

Scrubbing is considered to be a more economical way of cleaning because it saves the ship costs. The principle of wet scrubber operation includes the mixture of the exhaust gas with washwater where the water-soluble parts of the gas are taken away by dissipation into the washwater. Moreover, ship scrubbers take away the most part of the direct sulfate particulate matters, by the same token, controlling and reducing the emissions of SOx and PM contaminants.

Also, it should be mentioned that the end product of the SOx from wet scrubber systems is sulfate that is one of the seawater components. Thus, the SOx discharging to the sea is considered to be a better business, but only at this stage because the sulfate level from exhaust gas scrubbing is insignificant comparing to already quantity in water.

However, some components are the problem for their discharging in the ocean:

  • chemical oxygen demand whose increase negatively influences on aquatic systems;
  • numerous metals that are toxic to aquatic life and humans, even some essential metals but in high concentrations are harmful;
  • excess nitrate concentrations;
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon;
  • high pH level;
  • turbidity.

Taking into account all mentioned facts, Chinese maritime administration has prohibited the use of open-loop scrubber systems, and consequently, wash water release. Thus, all ships in Singapore will have to use closed-loop wet scrubbers or burn 0.5 percent of sulfur fuel.

The prohibition is the result of the discussion about the potential impacts of washwater from wet scrubber system on the maritime environment. It should be mentioned that wet scrubbers enable to burn fuels, even where it is banned. Nevertheless, the system of wet scrubbing must be developed, and it is highly recommended to make more independent research and a more thorough analysis of the environmental risks.

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Redwood technology is a fast-growing vendor of wet air scrubbers. The multi-vortex scrubber can remove gas emissions, dust, vapors, and other pollutants from a gas stream. It is an innovative technology created to save water that makes it more cost-efficient and differs from other types of scrubbers.  If you have any questions or would like to purchase a multi-vortex wet air scrubber, please contact us at

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