The challenges of decarbonizing the shipping industry are giving rise to new technologies and companies focusing on elements such as treating emissions and new generations of alternative biofuel and its production. Among the startups drawing strong interest in the shipping community is Carbon Ridge, which is working on modular onboard carbon capture and storage solutions (OCCS) for the maritime industry.
Launched a year ago, the company is developing an onboard solution dedicated to the shipping industry which it says will be able to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from commercial shipping by up to 95 percent. The system diverts the exhaust gases from the engine room into a process skid where the CO2 and exhaust gas are separated using existing gas separation technologies. The clean exhaust then flows back into the funnel and CO2-rich solvents are separated. They are then compressed and liquefied and placed into storage tanks for the remainder of the voyage.
Carbon Ridge says the advantage of its approach is that it requires limited structural modifications to in-service ships. In addition, they said it reduces by 75 percent the process equipment size and volume in comparison to conventional CCS technologies. The system they report can be contained within a few containers with a few more for the storage of CO2.
While the company is competing with established, well-known companies also working on carbon capture for ships, Carbon Ridge has attracted the attention of shipping industry leaders including Scorpio Tankers and now both Crowley and Berge Bulk.
“We believe onboard carbon capture and storage will be the lowest cost and most efficient pathway to achieve near-term decarbonization in the maritime industry,” says Chase Dwyer, Founder & CEO of Carbon Ridge. “We are very excited about partnering with The Grantham Foundation, Crowley, and Berge Bulk, as leaders in their respective sectors, each with strong commitments to long-term climate stabilization.”
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment led a new round of funding for Carbon Ridge raising $6 million which includes additional investment from Crowley and Berge Bulk as well as Rusheen Capital Management and Plug and Play Ventures. According to the company, the financing will enable it to continue the development of its OCCS technology for an onboard pilot in 2023.
Tom Crowley, chairman and CEO of Crowley highlighted Carbon Ridge’s “novel approach to significantly lessen the impact of maritime emissions,” in announcing their investment in the startup company.
“We believe in the potential of onboard carbon capture and storage as one of the effective solutions to enable Berge Bulk’s commitment towards zero emissions,” said James Marshall, CEO of Berge Bulk. “Our partnership with Carbon Ridge is a strong step forward in achieving those goals and consistent with our broader sustainability mission
The two shipping companies join with Scorpio Tankers which announced in March that it would be working with Carbon Ridge to collaborate on the development of onboard carbon capture for maritime vessels. Emanuele Lauro, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Scorpio Tankers commented saying that his company feels that onboard carbon capture presents a viable path to decarbonization for large segments of the shipping industry.