Foul business

Foul business

It’s a problem as old as seafaring itself. Ever since man set out to sea, barnacles have been clinging to ships, slowing down vessels and wasting energy. And for just as long, mariners and researchers have searched for ways to repel and remove these adhesive organisms. Solutions have ranged from scraping the hulls with heavy chains to electrifying the water around the vessels, coating the hull with glass, and turning entire ships into magnets.

SOURCE: IMO.ORG , EC.EUROPA.EU , CARBONWARROOM.COM

TINY CREATURES WITH A BIG IMPACT

How big a problem can barnacles possibly be? It turns out these tiny creatures can reduce the fuel economy of a vessel by up to 40 percent, increasing CO2 emissions accordingly. Their collective mass is small, but their little bodies have an outsized effect creating drag around the ship’s hull. For over 100 years the most common method to prevent fouling has been to mix paint with a toxic chemical. The toxin is released slowly to discourage invaders, eventually ending up in the water to the detriment of other marine organisms. The shipping industry spends over $200 billion on fuel each year, representing the lion part of operational costs.

SAVING MONEY AND THE ENVIROMENT

The maritime shipping industry emits more CO2 than the entire country of Germany and is the sixth largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Despite being the most efficient method of cargo transport, over 90% of the world’s goods are transported by sea, the industry emits more than 1 billion tons of CO2 per year. Maintaining business as usual will result in an estimated 250% growth in emissions by 2050, leaving the industry responsible for 18% of global emissions. At current bunker fuel prices, the industry can save $70 billion per year and reduce emissions by 30% through the adoption of technologies and operational measures.

FINDING NEW WAYS

Recently, non-metal antifouling methods have become the subjects of intense research by scientists looking for more environmentally friendly and effective ways of reducing biofouling. One way is reducing the amount of copper used in antifouling paints. For example, tests show that antifoulants made with just 6% of the copper-free biocide ECONEA™ are as effective as those made with 50% copper.

Researchers in Gothenburg, Sweden have successfully transformed a scientific invention into the commercially available organic, non-metal compound antifouling agent SELEKTOPE ® . It is the first selective antifouling agent to be approved by the European Commission. Introducing for the first time ever a pharmacological mode of action to combat barnacle settlement, delivering power at only a few grams per liter paint.

Using a product containing anti-fouling products can greatly reduce fouling, potentially saving 30-40% on fuel costs, while owners operating in aggressive waters and with an unpredictable idling scheme can avoid fuel penalties. These groundbreaking discoveries enable unrivalled power at minute concentrations, yet within the limits of the most rigorous risk assessment bodies in the industry.

SAVE $70 BILLION PER YEAR AND REDUCE EMISSIONS BY 30% THROUGH THE ADOPTION OF TECHNOLOGIES


MARINE SELECTION GUIDE

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