Endless opportunities for a sustainable shipping industry

It cannot surprise you that the way we treat our environment is not sustainable. We have allowed industries to pollute heavily for a long time, which has damaged ecosystems, wildlife, and human health. And the criticality of our actions is also stressed by the UN SDGs. Fortunately, you may be surprised that advanced green technology exists to improve our mistakes and obtain a sustainable future. Let us dive into the endless opportunities for sustainable shipping industry.

Although the shipping industry is influential, considering that it is cheap and can transport large volumes of goods, it significantly contributes to world pollution. The marine environmental impact is significant, and therefore, solutions are required immediately. See the below video to grasp how much one single large cruise ship pollutes. 

Membrane Technology as a Key Solution

Advanced membrane technology is one of the keys to decarbonizing the world’s shipping industry. This unique and innovative technology has brought about several pioneering filtration applications for a more sustainable future in accordance with the UN SDGs. Membranes can filter polluted scrubber wash water and purify seawater to the extent that it is turned into drinking water. Therefore, Membranes protect our environment from pollution and enable us to preserve our scarce water resources. Learn more about how ceramic membranes work.

For the shipping industry, two innovative solutions seem apparent to adopt.

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Marine Scrubber Water Treatment Liqtech (1)

Solution 1) Closed-loop scrubbers

With the IMO 2020, implementing closed-loop scrubbers seems even more critical in order to obtain a compliant operation. Learn more about the IMO 2020 here. Closed-loop scrubbers ensure compliance with current and future environmental regulations by removing harmful sulfur oxides (SOx). This is for the benefit of the environment, wildlife, and human health. Besides compliance, this solution is highly competitive. Although this solution is cost-intensive, it delivers significant returns in fuel cost savings. With a closed-loop scrubber, you can continue to operate on HFO, which is often much cheaper than low sulfur fuel. Thus, you are secured a low OPEX. When the fuel price peaked on the 3rd of January, 2020, at $321.5/mt on a FOB Rotterdam barges basis, the return on investment was as low as six months. Yet, the fuel price spread constantly changes. Still, return on investment is typically within 1-3 years, bringing forth a favorable financial outlook for closed-loop scrubbers.

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Sea Water Reverse Osmosis Desalination Liqtech Water

Solution 2) Seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO)

With the water scarcity facing today's world, it seems apparent to protect the world's scarce freshwater resources. This is enabled by seawater reverse osmosis, which can purify seawater into drinking water using RO membranes. This solution provides an unlimited amount of freshwater and removes concerns about being shore-bound due to low freshwater levels onboard a vessel. And with no large freshwater tanks, weight and space can be saved, leading to energy efficiency.

Environmental Regulations

But besides green tech solutions, more and more environmental restrictions are also implemented to sustain our earth. Regulations are both seen locally, regionally, and globally. And although local and regional efforts are a great start, it is not sufficient to comply with the UN SDGs before 2030. These need to be global to ensure an international effort, as seen with the IMO 2020. Moreover, it is also expected that the IMO will sanction a new work plan at its next Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), discussing environmental issues under IMO’s remit. This new work plan aligns with the regulations and bans for scrubber wash water discharges internationally. Here, they can decide when, where, or if scrubber wash water discharged should be sanctioned. And all these global restrictions combined with innovative green tech solutions seem to be the lever for endless opportunities for the sustainable shipping industry.

Marine Knowlegde Ebook Download

Marine Knowledge E-book

If you want to learn more about the marine industry, you can download our Marine Industry Knowledge e-book.

Learn everything worth knowing about marine scrubbers, wash water treatment, and how to comply with the IMO 2020 sulfur cap.

Read about emerging trends affecting the maritime industry, marine regulations, and how to stay compliant now and in the future. 

At LiqTech, our goal is to minimize the negative impacts of living an improved lifestyle. With innovative clean technology, we reduce the harmful effects caused by various polluting industries, including the marine industry, in line with current and emerging environmental regulations. We want to share our knowledge with you; therefore, we have created a universe full of marine knowledge.

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