Exploring the acidification of the Baltic Sea - and the use of scrubbers

2016-01-15

Anna Rutgersson is part of a large cooperation project called SHIpH, assesing the acidification of the Baltic Sea. In a film on youtube, she and other researchers now explains the importance of the research. 

The SHIpH-project releases a short film about their important research regarding environmental effects of commercial shipping in the Baltic Sea. One way to reduce the impact may be to use scrubbers to clean the emission gases, researchers say.

The emission gases from commercial shipping bears a big responsibility for the acidification of the Baltic Sea. The fuel contains large quantities of sulphur – many times higher than car fuel. The area is heavily trafficked, and the brackish water has a lower buffer capacity than seawater, and is thus more sensitive to acidification.

The maximum sulphur content of marine fuel oil in Emission Control Areas (including the Baltic Sea) was reduced from 1% to 0.1% in 2015. Now, two possibilities are available for commercial shipping: to use expensive low-sulphur fuel, or to use seawater scrubbing systems to absorb acidic gases from the engine exhaust.

In the SHIpH- project, researchers from the Uppsala university department of Earth Sciences is working together with colleagues from Chalmers university, the University of Gothenburg, The Swedish ship-owners association and SSPA Sweden  to assess present and potential future acidification of the Baltic Sea.

The group is amongst other things conducting a study with the aim of developing a scientific basis for future regulations in the Baltic, including the use of scrubbers. They explain their important reseach in a movie:

/ Katarina Sundberg

News archive 2016