At the forefront with Alfa Laval PureSOx scrubber systems

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 05 March 2020


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Following years of preparation, the global sulphur cap became reality on 1 January 2020. While most of the marine industry recalibrates its fuel use, customers with Alfa Laval PureSOx systems on board are step ahead. Not only can they continue sailing with economical HFO, they can feel confident about their scrubber solution and its future.

More than ten years ago, the DFDS Ficaria Seaways entered dry dock for an expansion of its cargo space. While the vessel was being rebuilt, a hybrid PureSOx system – able to perform closed-loop as well as open-loop scrubbing – was retrofitted to clean the exhaust gas from its 21 MW main engine. At the time of the pilot installation, the prospects for SOx scrubbers were anything but certain.


“Back in 2009, there were many who questioned the potential of SOx scrubbers,” says Steven Pieters, Sales Director, Exhaust Gas Cleaning at Alfa Laval. “Not everyone was convinced that a scrubber could meet emission limits while operating in a marine environment, and there were even deeper doubts about the water cleaning needed for closed-loop scrubbing.”

Confidence built on proof

Today the merits of PureSOx are undeniable, as are those of Alfa Laval’s centrifugal water cleaning system. The PureSOx system on Ficaria Seaways has spent thousands of hours in compliant operation – and is still going strong. In fact, so is every other PureSOx system ever installed. This flawless track record is underpinned by Alfa Laval’s more than 100 years of marine experience as a whole.

“The customers who invested in PureSOx before the global sulphur cap were ahead of the curve, and today they’re able to take advantage of the fuel cost delta,” Pieters says. “Our many references have shown time and time again that the technology and its benefits are sound.”

As Pieters indicates, PureSOx has been installed or retrofitted on vessels of nearly every type and size. Moreover, Alfa Laval has found answers for the complex process of working with shipyards, engineering companies and the other partners involved. “PureSOx customers today are a step ahead from the beginning, because we’ve learned from every installation performed,” Pieters says.

Positioned for the future

With such a base of experience, Alfa Laval is also ahead as a supplier. Having developed a well-functioning production apparatus early on, the company has scaled up with retained quality and is expanding its already broad offering of scrubber services. Knowledge gained from following PureSOx on differing vessels and in varied conditions is now being applied to optimize customers’ systems through scrubber connectivity.

“With our PureSOx Connect offering, we’re taking the next step for scrubbers, even as others are taking their first,” says Pieters. “From the beginning, PureSOx has been the cutting edge of exhaust gas cleaning. Now we’re pushing boundaries not just on individual vessels, but on fleet scale.”

To learn more about Alfa Laval PureSOx and Alfa Laval’s approach to exhaust gas cleaning, visit

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