First Fuel Cell Ship

Scientific American discusses why cargo ships need to be cleaner

In fact, emissions of nitrogen oxides from one ship burning diesel in a year are greater than those from 22,000 cars…After all, fuel costs for a tanker ship are fully 41 percent of its total operating costs.

In response, a Norwegian shipping company installed a molten carbonate fuel cell (is this the same stuff they froze Han’s in?) supplying 230 kw on the Viking Lady.  To keep the carbonate molten it operates at 650 degrees Celsius (now I am convinced this is what the Dark Lord used). According to Scientific American the Viking Lady the  “reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 90 percent, CO2 emissions by 20 percent and eliminates sulfur dioxide and soot emissions.”

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

5 Replies to “First Fuel Cell Ship”

  1. I just jumped over and read the full article. If this Norwegian shipping company can truly eliminate sulfur dioxide and soot emissions as advertised, it would be a huge step forward. Everyone (appropriately) complains about corporate greed and damage to the environment, but if reduced emissions can be achieved via financial motivation, well then so be it.

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