Huge increase in open-loop scrubber usage in ships: Report

News:According to GlobalData,there has been a huge increase in the use of open-loop scrubbers in ships in just last one year even as a debate about their viability in mitigating sulphur emissions from ships has also escalated.


About Scrubbers in Ships:

  • Scrubbers are used to remove particulate matter and harmful components such as sulphur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the exhaust gasses generated as a result of combustion processes in marine engines, to implement pollution control.
  • The two types of scrubbers namely Closed-loop scrubbers which retains the sulfur emissions for safer disposal at the port.
  • On the other hand,Open-loop scrubbers release pollutants back into the sea after turning the sulfur dioxide into sulphuric acid.


  • The International Maritime Organisation(IMO) adopted the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).
  • The MARPOL Convention was adopted by the International Maritime Organisation(IMO) on 2nd  November 1973.
  • It is the main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes.
  • It regulates the prevention of air pollution from ships and prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone-depleting substances such as sulphur oxides and nitrous oxides.
  • Further,all ships flagged under countries that are signatories to MARPOL are subject to its requirements regardless of where they sail and member nations are responsible for vessels registered on their national ship registry.

Additional information:

International Maritime Organization:

  • The International Maritime Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations.It currently has 174 Member States.
  • IMO is responsible for measures to improve the safety and security of international shipping and to prevent pollution from ships.
  • It is also involved in legal matters, including liability and compensation issues and the facilitation of international maritime traffic.