Abstract Evolving marine diesel emission regulations drive significant reductions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. There is, therefore, considerable interest to develop and validate Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) converters for marine diesel NOx emission control. Substrates in marine applications need to be robust to survive the high sulfur content of marine fuels and must offer cost and pressure drop benefits. In principle, extruded honeycomb substrates of higher cell density offer benefits on system volume and provide increased catalyst area (in direct trade-off with increased pressure drop). However higher cell densities may become more easily plugged by deposition of soot and/or sulfate particulates, on the inlet face of the monolithic converter, as well as on the channel walls and catalyst coating, eventually leading to unacceptable flow restriction or suppression of catalytic function.