Technical and economic feasibility of organic Rankine cycle-based waste heat recovery systems on feeder ships: Impact of nitrogen oxides emission abatement technologies

Enrico Baldasso*, Jesper Graa Andreasen, Maria E. Mondejar, Ulrik Larsen, Fredrik Haglind

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The International Maritime Organization recently revised the regulations concerning nitrogen and sulphur oxides emissions from commercial ships. In this context, it is important to investigate how emission abatement technologies capable of meeting the updated regulation on nitrogen oxides emissions affect the performance of waste heat recovery units to be installed on board new vessels. The objective of this paper is to assess the potential fuel savings of installing an organic Rankine cycle unit on board a hypothetical liquefied natural gas-fuelled feeder ship operating inside emission control areas. The vessel complies with the updated legislation on sulphur oxides emissions by using a dual fuel engine. Compliance with the nitrogen oxides emission regulation is reached by employing either a high or low-pressure selective catalytic reactor, or an exhaust gas recirculation unit. A multi-objective optimization was carried out where the objective functions were the organic Rankine cycle unit annual electricity production, the volume of the heat exchangers, and the net present value of the investment. The results indicate that the prospects for attaining a cost-effective installation of an organic Rankine unit are larger if the vessel is equipped with a low-pressure selective catalytic reactor or an exhaust gas recirculation unit. Moreover, the results suggest that the cost-effectiveness of the organic Rankine cycle units is highly affected by fuel price and the waste heat recovery boiler design constraints.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Pages (from-to)577-589
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Organic Rankine cycle
  • Waste heat recovery
  • NO emission abatement technologies
  • Feeder ship
  • Multi-objective optimization

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