From nature to green shipping: Assessing the economic and environmental potential of AIRCOAT on low-draught ships
Paper presented at 8th Transport Research Arena, TRA 2020, April 27-30, 2020, Helsinki, Finland
Air pollution from ships have been recently shown to contribute to human health effects by over 250 000 premature deaths annually even with the global 0.5% Sulphur cap which enters in force by Jan 1st 2020 (Sofiev et al., 2018). This paper introduces a passive air lubrication application for ship hulls, which has potential to reduce frictional resistance, fuel oil consumption and atmospheric emissions. The AIRCOAT approach is based on a biomimetic ship hull coating that introduces a permanent layer of air on a surface under water. This avoids direct contact of the ship and water, which reduces drag, corrosion and fouling of the hull and may lead to significant fuel savings at global level. Estimations revealed that applying AIRCOAT on low-draught boats and partly coated high-draught vessels of the global IMO-registered fleet could reduce annual fuel cost by millions of Euros depending on friction reduction performance of AIRCOAT.