Joining forces to reduce marine carbon emissions

At AkzoNobel, we’re committed to working collaboratively with other companies to develop cutting-edge, sustainable solutions for our customers. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Silverstream Technologies – a company that’s patented an ingenious method for reducing a ship’s frictional resistance.

After three years of working together, we’re delighted to launch our joint white paper. Entitled “Exploring synergy between energy-saving solutions for the maritime industry,” the paper demonstrates how our International® range of industry-leading fouling control coatings and the Silverstream® System work together in harmony to improve a ship’s energy efficiency – saving ship owners fuel and money – and lowering their vessels’ carbon footprint to meet increasingly strict regulatory requirements.

Why does it matter?

At the moment, between 80% and 90% of all goods are transported by sea – and the demand for global transport is expected to triple by 2050. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) aims to halve shipping’s carbon emissions by 2050 (compared with 2008 levels). However, given the projected increase in marine traffic, it’s unlikely this target will be met unless drastic measures are taken.

The synergy between AkzoNobel’s range of antifouling marine coatings and Silverstream’s proven air lubrication technology offers the marine industry an effective fuel-saving solution which can help to reduce global shipping carbon emissions.


How do the technologies work?

One of the most significant factors affecting a ship’s efficiency is the frictional resistance of its hull – the watertight outer shell covering the lower half of the vessel.

By using our ultra-performance biocidal or foul release coatings, the surface of the hull is kept smooth and clean – which minimizes its frictional resistance.

Silverstream’s air lubrication system (ALS) uses a bank of air compressors to push air along a system of pipes and valves to air release units (ARUs) situated along the ship’s hull. The ARUs allow air to shear into the water to create a carpet of bubbles under the ship’s hull – which reduces its frictional resistance. 

Source: Silverstream

Using these technologies in tandem offers ship operators a holistic approach to maintaining the optimal efficiency of their vessels – reducing both their fuel costs and environmental footprint.


Why write a white paper?

“We want to reach out to the marine industry, to demystify and inform,” explains Barry Kidd, AkzoNobel’s Vessel Performance Manager in Marine and Protective Coatings. “We’re trying to help ship owners make better informed choices. We believe that our products – when selected appropriately – can act in synergy to help ship owners achieve some of their decarbonization objectives.”

Arno Dubois, Silverstream’s Hydrodynamics R&D Lead, goes on to explain further: “We want the wider audience to know that we’ve started R&D programs – including ships’ trials and data analysis – to demonstrate how our technologies can boost each other’s performance capabilities and help ship operators save money.”


What does it cover?

Three hypotheses set out the way that AkzoNobel’s antifouling coatings and Silverstream’s air lubrication system work together – illustrating the potential for further improvements in vessel performance and emission reductions.


Why now?

Regulations have become a hot topic, both in the media and the marine community. The EU has started monitoring ships’ carbon emissions and is now applying direct taxation to companies entering and leaving EU ports to put pressure on ship owners to decarbonize – or face the financial consequences. The International Maritime Organization is also tightening its regulations to try to curb carbon emissions. 

Interested in finding out more about our Marine, Protective and Yacht coatings? Click here.

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