Open loop exhaust gas cleaning system and its effect over the Barcelona port water PH


  • Nelson Díaz Delgado UPC



Nowadays the air pollution prevention has become a priority objective in our society, but it is being expressly noteworthy into the maritime industry and shipping business. The last is because there is a strong regulatory framework which establishes requirements fuel oils used on board the ships must meet. Among these requirements we should note those regarding to the fuel oils with a sulphur content not exceeding that specified in regulation 14 of Annex VI Marpol Convention [1].

To deal with these requirements, some shipowners have chosen to use open-loop exhaust gas cleaning systems on board their ships. Main feature of these systems is regarding to the continuous discharges of wash water to the sea. One of the properties of this wash water is its low pH level, notably acid

This paper is talking about the Barcelona port water pH evolution, specifically from the South Basin port water, after receiving weekly 2-3 ships which are using the open-loop exhaust gas cleaning system and discharging residual wash water from the exhaust gas cleaning process on the port water.

The pH values of samples analyzed in the laboratory of the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA-CSIC) are presented in this paper. We will check the evolution of Barcelona South Basin port water pH level, the trend of pH port water and finally we are going to value the observed impact that has the use of open-loop exhaust gas cleaning systems on this port water.

Finally, we will analyse current situation and talk about the studies or research on this topic and the real need for improving the operation of open-loop exhaust gas cleaning systems, avoiding their contribution to the port water acidification.