For the crew of the F/V Kodiak, one of the vessels featured on the Discovery Channel's hit reality series, "Deadliest Catch," reducing the environmental impact of their ship not only means giving back to the waters that sustain their livelihood, but also putting more green in their wallets.
It's all part of a challenge between the boats featured on the show to see who can be the most environmentally friendly.
The Kodiak's owners, JLAX Fisheries, LLC and Capt. "Wild Bill" Bill Wichrowski worked with Seattle-based EcoEmissions to install a catalyst injection system for the ship's diesel engines. The upgrade reportedly helps to increases fuel efficiency by 8-10 percent while cutting particulate matter by 30-40 percent and emissions of hydrocarbons and nitrous oxides (NOx) by 25 percent. For those interested, it all happens like this:
The Catalyst Injection System (CIS) feeds an aerosol mist of an inert platinum-based catalyst into the combustion chamber during the intake cycle. On the compression stroke as the temperature in the cylinder reaches 325 degree C (620 degree F) the catalyst becomes active and begins to break down the carbon particles (soot). As fuel is injected on the power stroke, the presence of the catalyst produces more rapid ignition at a lower temperature, creating a longer burning period during the power stroke. Combustion is more complete, producing more work resulting in increased power for greater fuel efficiency and lower emissions.
For the Kodiak, this translates into a savings of roughly six gallons of fuel per hour. Most noticeable however, is the absence of black smoke that once poured from the ship's exhaust, according to a press release.
"The EcoEmissions seem to be working better than advertised," the crew posted to their Facebook page.
According to the EcoEmissions website, the company currently has more than $132 million in documented product demand requests and has partnered on a number of case studies with cruise ship lines, mining companies and other diesel engine fleets. For the company Cruise West, which is currently outfitting its 21 vessels with the EcoEmissions CIS, the estimated annual fuel savings from the upgrade will be just more than $823,000, while also reducing CO2 by 348 tons.
By partnering with the Kodiak, EcoEmissions is hopeful that the media exposure will help their business grow into other industries that are looking to save cash and reduce their environmental impact. You can find out more about their technology here.