January 28th, 2018

The Scrubber Observatory Platform

All of our project materials can be accessed here.

What is the scrubber observatory platform?


The aim of this Platform is to facilitate the exchange of best practices among interested stakeholders (manufacturers, ports, operators, etc.) as regards the purchase, installation and operation of scrubbers. The Platform also aims to identify challenges hindering the uptake of scrubbers as a method of compliance.

The overall objective of this platform is to promote dialogue and cooperation between stakeholders. To this extent, it is crucial to ensure that all different initiatives currently ongoing on scrubber uptake (of all types) do not duplicate their work, but work together to share know-how and identify knowledge gaps. The valuable experience gained from the deployment of our project will be fed into the platform, expanding the relatively limited knowledge on closed loop scrubbers.


What is a scrubber?

Scrubbers, which are a type of Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems, are technologies used to remove sulphur oxides from marine engine exhausts.

In a closed loop scrubber system, such as those installed on both the Stena Hollandica and Stena Britannica, the exhaust gas enters the scrubber where it is treated with an alkaline product such as caustic soda or magnesium sulfate to neutralise the sulphur oxides. The majority of the water is then processed in a holding tank until discharged at port facilities, with the remainder being treated before being discharged back into the sea in compliance with IMO standards on wastewater.
Testing conducted by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute illustrates that SOx is significantly reduced (to 0.01%), while the wastewater is well within IMO limit on turbidity, PAH and pH.
Full life cycle analysis data will be uploaded in due course.
A diagram is available below.


Closed Loop scrubber diagram




Meetings and Conferences


First meeting of the Scrubber Observatory Platform


On 12 October 2017, a meeting of the “Scrubber Observatory Platform” took place in Hook of Holland, the Netherlands. More than 40 scrubber technology stakeholders, including shipowners, ports, scrubber manufacturers, and representatives of EU institutions, held a full day of discussions to exchange best practices on scrubber retrofitting, deployment and operation. Organised in the Stena Line terminal in Hook of Holland, the workshop was combined with an on-board visit of the Stena Hollandica and its closed loop scrubber installation.

The workshop included a presentation on the technical experience from the project (from Stena Line), the results of exhaust gas measurements of the scrubber-equipped ships (IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute) and a presentation of scrubber waste management guidelines (Lloyd’s Register). Representatives from scrubbers manufactures also intervened to provide information on the different available technologies. During the on-board visit, participants had the opportunity to see the scrubber installation and learn about the treatment of the closed loop scrubber residue.

The presentations delivered at the workshop and pictures from the event can be found via the drop down menu below



Second meeting of the Scrubber Observatory Platform


The project partners, together with Region Västra Götaland, organised a second platform meeting in October 2018. The meeting took place in the Region Västra Götaland office within the “Nordic House” in Brussels, where participants discussed the technical and regulatory dimensions of scrubber technology in reducing air emissions and meeting EU and IMO regulations.

The presentations delivered during the meeting are available via the drop down menu below, in addition to a selection of pictures.


Other presentations


Project partners have in addition presented findings from the Scrubbers: Closing the Loop project at the following events:

1st March 2017 | Swedish Parliament Transport Committee, Clean Shipping event

8-9 March 2017 | Swedish Transport Administration shipping seminar

19 April 2017 | UK Chamber of Shipping Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems workshop

29-31 May 2017 | Norshipping event, Oslo

12 October 2017 | Scrubber Observatory Platform, 1st meeting in Hoek van Holland

16 October 2017 | European Sustainable Shipping Forum

20-21 November 2017 | Motorways of Sea conference in Barcelona

29-30 November 2017 | Scrubber Seminar at EMSA

Another title