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Air Bubble Experiment To Begin

Posted on February 24, 2010

NYK and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) will begin experiments on an air-lubrication system to reduce CO2 emissions during marine transport. The system, which was jointly developed by the two companies, was designed to reduce the frictional resistance between a vessel's bottom and the seawater by means of bubbles generated by supplying air to the vessel's bottom.

A permanent installation of the system using an air-blower is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 10%. The experiments will be conducted using module carriers operated by an NYK Group company, NYK-Hinode Line Ltd., Tokyo, Japan

The module carrier vessel was chosen to carry out the CO2 reduction experiment due to its wide, shallow-draft and flat, wide bottom. This design generates relatively little water pressure minimizing the electric energy required by an air blower to supply air to the vessel's bottom.

The project is being subsidized through Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism's "Support for Technology Development from Marine Vessels for Curtailing CO2" project for fiscal 2009 and is also supported by ClassNK and the Nippon Foundation.

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