Technology Caps, Treats Ship's Air Emissions in Port

More than 100 port and government officials, shipping operators, and business leaders witnessed the successful demonstration of Advanced Cleanup Technologies, Inc.'s (ACTI) new system that could significantly cut air pollution at Southern California ports, according to a June 19 press release.

ACTI, an emergency response and hazardous waste management company, successfully capped and treated the exhaust gas from a ship docked at the Metropolitan Stevedore Co. berth at the Port of Long Beach in California.

During the demonstration, ACTI used its patented Advanced Maritime Emissions Control System (AMECS) to lift a 2,500-pound bonnet approximately 150 feet in the air, capping and collecting toxic pollutants from the ship's auxiliary engines and boilers. The gas was then vacuumed from the bonnet through a duct into a treatment system. It is designed to reduce more than 95 percent of nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and particulate matter from the auxiliary engines and boilers of ocean-going vessels while at berth or anchored in port.

"If implemented, AMECS can be a solution to not only help the ports reach their air quality goals faster, but more importantly, help all of us living in Southern California breathe cleaner air," said Ruben Garcia, ACTI founder and president.

The results were documented by EF&EE and Professional Environmental Services, which are both independent testing firms. ACTI plans to release the formal results in July.

"One of our regional priorities includes cleaning up sources of diesel emissions, particularly near impacted communities and ports," said Wayne Nastri, the U.S. EPA's administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. "EPA helped fund, through the West Coast Collaborative, ACTI's first demonstration of this technology at the Roseville Rail Yard, and we congratulate ACTI for showing that emissions from one of the dirtiest and largest sources of air pollution can be effectively reduced."

For many shipping and port operators, AMECS is considered a cost-effective supplement or alternative to the use of shore power or cold ironing, and in many cases, is the only economically and operationally feasible means of reducing air pollution at the ports.

"The ACTI 'sock on a stack' system has already proven to be very effective in capturing and removing exhaust emissions from locomotive engines, and this project at the Port of Long Beach can help verify its effectiveness in treating ship engine emissions," said Barry Wallerstein, executive direction South Coast Air Quality Management District.

In November 2006, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach passed the Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) with a goal of reducing particulate emissions in 2008 by at least 15 percent and a 45 percent reduction by 2011. According to the ports, ships represent 26 percent of nitrogen oxides, 90 percent of sulfur oxides, and 59 percent of particulate matter emissions of the total port pollution.

"At the Port of Long Beach, we are continually pursuing new technologies that will help achieve our Green Port goals," said Mario Cordero, president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners. "Advancements such as the AMECS hold great promise to minimize or eliminate air pollution from one of the most critical sources, ships at berth."

At ACTI's demonstration of the Advanced Locomotive Emissions Control System in Roseville, Calif., two years ago, the technology reduced nitrogen oxide by 97.8 percent, sulfur oxide by 97.3 percent, and particulate matter by 92.1 percent.

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