Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) will work with LPG distributor Astomos Energy on a project to convert organic material onboard ships into fuel.
The two Japanese companies are working with Sustainable Energy Development, a company NYK invested in two months ago, on the study which will aim to have installed an organic waste treatment system that converts waste into energy onto a ship within the next three years.
Sustainable Energy has developed its own integrated subcritical-water organic-waste power-generation system, or ISOP system, which decomposes organic substances using subcritical-water-treating technology and ultimately produces green energy products such as biofuels.
According to NYK, approximately 5,000 litres of waste, mainly plastic dust, is generated from a VLGC for every 45-day voyage between Japan and the Middle East.
Compatriot shipping line Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has been working on similar technology. Microplastics fished out of the sea via a special device MOL has developed and installed on one of its woodchip carriers have been converted into energy products not dissimilar to wood pellets. MOL’s microplastic collection device works during operation of the ballast water treatment system.