Ships are among the largest polluters in the world - the fuel used for their operation, heavy fuel oil, burns down sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen monoxide (NO), respectively called SOx and NOx. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has recently adopted stricter conditions – The 2020 global sulphur limit, which aims to reduce the release of SOx emissions. Therefore, maritime industry needs to choose – either to use cleaner and hence more expensive fuels, or to clean emissions before they enter the atmosphere.
Scientists offer to clean emissions by placing a particle accelerator inside the vessel’s mechanism, to be more precise – inside the funnel – that would use an electron beam to irradiate exhaust gas created after burning the fuel, dividing it into «easy fractions». The «processed» emissions can later be cleaned with traditional methods, consuming considerably less energy and not using ammonia, as well as, which is particularly important, cleaning both SOx and NOx at the same time.