AsiaBunkeringDry CargoEnvironment

NYK invests in tech to convert garbage onboard into biofuels

Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) is looking at converting waste onboard into energy. Japan’s second largest shipping line by dwt has invested in Sustainable Energy, which operates an energy supply business using unused resources such as flammable waste generated in cities.

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. Through this investment, NYK will begin joint studies on converting organic waste such as garbage and sludge generated on vessels into fuel by utilising the ISOP system. 

The ISOP system decomposes organic substances such as flammable waste into low-molecular-weight compounds using subcritical-water-treating technology in a closed space to generate energy raw materials.

The ISOP system does not require waste segregation and is effective for flammable waste, vinyl and plastic, styrene foam, clothing, food waste, organic sludge, animal manure and sludge, wood chips, and almost all other organic substances. The ISOP system can be easily made larger or smaller, and even movable vehicle-mounted models are being developed.

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.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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