Shipboard Carbon Capture and Storage

Navy SBIR 23.2 - Topic N232-107
ONR - Office of Naval Research
Pre-release 4/19/23   Opens to accept proposals 5/17/23   Closes 6/14/23 12:00pm ET    [ View Q&A ]

N232-107 TITLE: Shipboard Carbon Capture and Storage


OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate methods to capture carbon dioxide emissions from a ship’s exhaust and store it onboard until it can be offloaded.

DESCRIPTION: The Department of the Navy’s recently released strategy, Climate Action 2030 [Ref 1], established aggressive targets to reduce Department-wide emissions of greenhouse gases. Despite recent advances in energy efficient technology, the Navy is still heavily reliant on fossil fuels for propulsion and power generation on its ships and aircraft, with surface ships consuming more than 12 million barrels of marine diesel annually. Achieving net zero emissions will require a combination of approaches including alternative fuels, increased hybridization, and direct carbon capture both on installations and at-sea. The latter requires adaptation of stationary carbon capture technology for shipboard application. A number of post-combustion carbon captures technologies have been employed in terrestrial power plants, with chemical adsorption being the most mature. Exhaust gas is first cooled, passed through a filter, and then reacted with the absorbent, typically an amine-based solvent, to separate carbon dioxide before the exhaust is released to the atmosphere. The absorbent then goes through a regeneration process in which the CO2 is released by heating, and the absorbent is recycled to the absorption process. In addition to requiring large machinery, the solvents are toxic and can degrade in the presence of other components common to a marine exhaust. Adsorption of CO2 into a solid matrix can alleviate the need for such solvents, but is less selective as absorption. Membrane separation systems are potentially more compact and efficient, but long-term durability has not been demonstrated. Another challenge is shipboard storage of the captured CO2. Storage in gaseous form is often not practical due to space requirements and conversion to liquid or solid require significant power.

Innovative research is sought to develop compact approaches to capture and store carbon directly from shipboard exhaust, while minimizing impact to current ship systems. Systems resulting in a net reduction in carbon emissions greater than 75% are sought, while minimizing impact on efficiency. Net carbon reduction includes extra emissions from power needed to run the system. The most common propulsion system used in Navy surface combatants is F76 fueled LM2500 gas turbines that produce up to 150 lbs/s of 1050 °F exhaust. The system must be able to store at least two weeks’ worth of removed carbon for transfer during ship refueling. Storing captured CO2 as a liquid or solid (dry ice) has significant volumetric advantage, but requires additional power. Possible alternatives such as liquid mixtures or mineral carbonization could be evaluated.

PHASE I: Develop an innovative, compact, and energy efficient approach to capture and store carbon dioxide from post-combustion exhaust from a gas turbine engine typical of Navy surface combatants. Analyze the size, weight, and power consumption of complete system. Perform an initial estimate of system cost.

PHASE II: Demonstrate a working prototype of the system sized at least 1/50th of an LM2500 exhaust at full power. Experimentally validate the unit’s performance over a variety of exhaust conditions. Assess operational impacts of proposed technology. Complete a cost and scalability analysis of full-scale system.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Optimize the concept design for manufacturability, performance, and military requirements using the knowledge gained during Phases I and II. Perform a detailed integration study for installation on a Navy surface combatant. Develop a commercialization strategy for dual use on commercial maritime vessels.

The system could be used in commercial maritime vessels.


  1. "Climate Action 2030."
  2. H. J. Herzog, "Carbon Capture." The MIT Press, 2018.
  3. StenaBulk. "Is Carbon Capture on Ships Feasible?" Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, 2021.
  4. "Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage." American Bureau of Shipping, 2021.
  5. Life Cycle Engineering. "Marine Carbon Capture Technology Review." MARAD report DOC-G0036-0006, Document # DOC-G0036-0006, 24 October 2022.
  6. H. Al Baroudi, A. Awoyomi, K. Patchigolla, K. Jonnalagadda, and E.J. Anthony, "A review of large-scale CO2 shipping and marine emissions management for carbon capture, utilisation and storage." Applied Energy 287, 116510, 2021.
  7. P. Zhou and H. Wang, "Carbon capture and storage - Solidification and storage of carbon dioxide captured on ships." Ocean Eng 91, 2014, pp. 172-80.

KEYWORDS: climate; carbon capture; combustion, absorption, membrane separation


The Navy Topic above is an "unofficial" copy from the Navy Topics in the DoD 23.2 SBIR BAA. Please see the official DoD Topic website at for any updates.

The DoD issued its Navy 23.2 SBIR Topics pre-release on April 19, 2023 which opens to receive proposals on May 17, 2023, and closes June 14, 2023 (12:00pm ET).

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Topic Q & A

5/25/23  Q. Are there any limitations on storing liquid fuels on the ship (e.g. methanol or others)?
   A. Storage of liquids with a flash point of less than 100F is not permitted on US Navy ships.
5/24/23  Q. In the description you mention that the turbine exhaust is 1050F. Is this the temperature our proposed solid sorbent will interface with or is the exhaust cooled or must we design the cooling of the exhaust into our proposed system?
   A. That is the exhaust temperature at the turbine outlet at maximum power. The temperature decreases at lower power levels and as the exhaust moves down duct.
5/12/23  Q. For the pilot scale effort in Phase II, do you envision testing with simulated gas or fired F-76 fuel under relevant conditions to an LM2500 turbine?
   A. Proposer should discuss Phase II demonstration in proposal.
5/12/23  Q. To what level must the technology be proven during the phase I effort? For example, modeling/proof of concept only, basic laboratory validation, or larger demonstration?
   A. Proposer should address level of validation in proposal.
4/28/23  Q. 1. Can we propose a low cost solvent based system for on-board CO2 capture and storage?
2. Is there a time limit on how long CO2 transfer can take from ship to shore at the end of two weeks storage period?
3. Is the heat from on-board ship engine available during stops for refueling - In other words, can we regenerate CO2 during refueling stops using onboard heat and transfer to shore?
   A. 1. Yes, so long as the solvent can meet NAVSEA Hazardous Material risk assessment and acceptance process.
2. There is no expectation that CO2 will be transferred ashore (see #3).
3. Refueling is often done while underway so engines are running.
4/22/23  Q. What is the CO2 and H2O concentration in the exhaust stream? Can you provide total composition of exhaust stream as well?
   A. CO2 concentration is typically about 5%. Water concentration depends on humidity and other factors.

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