Emission control

September 26, 2014

Exhaust gases from ships are a dangerous pollutant, affecting the marine environment and its inhabitants. Professor Wamadeva Balachandran of Brunel University, UK details the most harmful emissions, and how his project DEECON hopes to tackle them.

The emission of exhaust gases from ships is a major source of pollutants, causing significant exposure risk to those living close to harbours or neighbouring coastal areas. Several countries have introduced specific regulations to reduce the emissions of ships, and very recently the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has enforced environmental regulations to comply with these trends. The adoption of the new restrictive regulations requires retrofit modification to the entire commercial fleet, such that they comply with the new emission standards.

The aim of this project is to create a new, modular, on-board, after-treatment unit that combines different sub-units, each of which is optimised to remove a specific primary pollutant. Designed to allow an easy and fast retrofit of existing ships, it can also be fitted to ships of the future.

The overarching goal of this new integrated system is the reduction of the environmental footprint of ships. This will be achieved through state-of-the-art removal of target pollutants, to reduce their emission factor far below the limits imposed by the current and future regulation.


The technology developed within DEECON aims at the:

  • Reduction of NOx > 98 per cent
  • Reduction of PM 90 per cent in number; > 99 per cent in weight
  • Reduction of HC > 80 per cent
  • Reduction of CO > 80 per cent
  • Reduction of SOx > 98 per cent


This project is coordinated by Brunel University in the UK, with the following partners:

Università Degli Studi Di Napoli Frederico II (UNINA) – Italy

Institute of Fluid Flow Machinery, Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS) – Poland

iXscient Ltd – UK

Sustainable Maritime Solutions Ltd (SMS) – UK

Vessel Technical Service (VTS) – Italy

Specialist Company TELECHEM Ltd – Poland


To read more about the project and its outcomes, click here.