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Water Witch Workboats Working Towards Emission Reduction Solutions Using Hydrogen

As delegates from across the world gathered in Glasgow for the United Nations COP26 climate summit, they needed only look over the River Clyde to see how the world is changing.

COP26 hosts, Glasgow City Council, have made significant steps towards their ambitious goal of reducing their environmental impact and improving air quality for all by upgrading their Water Witch Surface Dredger ‘St Mungo’ with the latest hydrogen catalytic technology.

Normally moored outside the COP26 venue, the 14-tonne vessel has worked on the River Clyde for the past 19 years removing debris and pollution from the City’s River. The vessel has been retro fitted with a unique electrolyser system for producing catalytic hydrogen which offers immediate reductions in fossil fuel consumption and harmful air pollution. This system reduces diesel particulates, NOx, and CO2 emissions

by improving the quality of the combustion process, and by extending the efficiency of the engine, reducing the amount of fuel being consumed. Emissions are reduced by up to 85%.

The ‘EcoPro’ is a RINA Type Approved, patented standalone catalytic hydrogen system designed to immediately reduce the vessel’s engine pollution without any invasive modifications being required. Supplying a controlled quantity of pure hydrogen-on-demand to give a more complete fuel burn during combustion, it is neatly installed next to the vessel’s main Perkins Sabre 6-cylinder 185hp 160 kwh diesel engine. Hydrogen is produced from its own electronic system whilst the engine is running and automatically ceases when the engine is switched off.

The system has worked exceptionally well since its recent installation and Glasgow City Council showcased their cleaner, greener, pollution control vessel to Climate Change Delegates at the Summit.

Jackie Caddick, Director at Water Witch says, “We have been committed to improving the carbon footprint of our vessels and working towards zero emissions – with MARPOL Tier 3 and 2050 compliance fast approaching we have been concerned as a builder that engine manufactures may not be able to meet the stringent emission standards. The EcoPro will allow us to directly reduce the diesel particulates, NOx and CO2 emissions of our larger vessels and offers an affordable and approved solution for both new builds and existing Water Witch boats.”

Developed by Ecomotus, the EcoPro technology is a vital transition between fossil fuels and a hydrogen/ electric economy. Jason Munro, Director says: “We are all aware that the marine industry needs to change away from fossil fuels and towards sustainable power to progressively reduce the greenhouse gases, harmful emissions and particulates produced. This standalone system is designed to work in harmony with existing combustion engines and reduces the operator’s carbon footprint.”

Ecomotus, based in South Devon, were awarded an Innovate UK grant for R&D testing and trials, enabling them to secure both RINA Type Approval and Maritime and Coastguard (MCA) accreditation.

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