At Vassallo Associates, we feel it is our duty to keep our esteemed clients suitably informed of developments within the maritime industry, especially seeing that this may also facilitate a reduction in the carbon footprint within the World’s fleet of ships.
According to a report issued by GloFouling Partnership and the IMO, keeping a ship’s hull free from thin layers of slime may reduce a ship’s Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by up to 25 per cent. These findings were presented during the UN Climate Change Conference COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland.
The preliminary findings conclude that a thin layer of slime, approximately 0.5 mm in thickness and covering approximately 50% of a vessel’s hull surface can increase the GHG emissions by 20 to 25%. The actual value varies according to the ship’s characteristics, speed and other prevailing conditions.
Additionally, the report also reaffirms that biofouling of a hull with microorganisms, plants and algae are also significant factors that affect the overall propulsive efficiency, due to the total resistance generated by the wave to hull fluid-structure interaction. More severe biofouling leads to higher emissions. In fact, an average length container vessel with a light layer of growth can increase GHG emissions by up to 55%, as demonstrated in the below figure plot of the research results.
It is therefore essential for any shipowner to ensure suitable biofouling management of their fleet, as a smooth and clean hull improves the overall propulsive efficiency whilst reducing GHG emissions.