Maritime’s Race to Net Zero Waste

September 4, 2023

2 minutes, 45 seconds read

Maritime’s Race to Net Zero Waste

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set sail towards a greener future, pledging to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. As part of this commitment, the IMO has adopted a comprehensive plan to decarbonize the marine industry, targeting a reduction of 20 to 30 percent in shipping emissions by 2030, and a remarkable 70 to 80 percent by 2040, compared to 2008 levels. 

This ambitious plan encompasses various aspects, including fuel efficiency, greenhouse gas reduction, and waste management. One significant area of focus is food waste, which plays a crucial role in achieving net zero decarbonization for the marine industry. Shipping and shipbuilding companies must embrace technological reforms to meet these targets and modernize their waste management strategies.

Traditionally, ships have relied on pulpers to manage food waste. However, it has become evident that pulpers provide only temporary mitigation of food waste issues. Enter Power Knot Ocean, the pioneers in sustainable food waste management solutions. In 2015, Power Knot Ocean installed its first LFC biodigester on an oil tanker, setting the stage for a groundbreaking transformation. Leveraging their extensive experience in the field, Power Knot acted as subject matter experts for the world’s largest cruise line operator in 2019, leading to the deployment of hundreds of LFC biodigesters across the world’s most prestigious cruise lines, LNG carriers, cargo vessels, yachts and more.

LFC biodigesters present a revolutionary alternative to pulpers, offering a range of benefits that propel waste management into a new era of efficiency and sustainability. They seamlessly replace pulpers while improving reliability and conveniently fitting into the existing plumbing scheme. By eliminating the need for pulper systems, biodigesters free up valuable space that can be utilized for other essential items, thereby optimizing ship operations.

Biodigesters have a wider range of waste digestion capabilities compared to pulpers. They can efficiently process various items, including egg shells, fish skin and banana skins, which pulpers may not accept. Additionally, biodigesters prevent plastic items from entering the waste stream, contributing to a cleaner and healthier marine environment.

The use of LFC biodigesters is fully compliant with MARPOL Annex V and is welcomed as a modern, environmentally friendly alternative to macerators. During initial deployment of the LFC biodigesters on cruise ships in early 2019, operators conducted over 20 independent tests on the waste water from the LFC biodigesters. These tests were conducted by SGS laboratories; other independent companies carried out tests for cruise ships that were visiting the pristine waters in Alaska. All of these samples were conducted by third parties without Power Knot in attendance and all discharges were found to be acceptable.

When it comes to cost reduction, biodigesters shine. By implementing this innovative technology, marine companies can significantly reduce the expenses associated with the disposal of food waste. LFC biodigesters play a vital role in minimizing the carbon footprint of the marine industry, aligning perfectly with the IMO’s ambitious targets for the reduction of emissions. This transformative solution eliminates the need for refrigerated storage of food waste and eliminates the requirement for tenders to transport food waste ashore, streamlining operations and reducing the overall environmental impact.

Power Knot Ocean’s biodigesters represent the future of waste management in the marine industry. By adopting this revolutionary technology, shipping and shipbuilding companies can make significant strides towards achieving the IMO’s net zero emissions goal by 2050. Learn more about the LFC biodigester here.