Technology know-how to design and implement a full cycle bio-energy system including ground‐ based biomass feedstock supply systems such as advanced chipping systems and inland ships; building biomass conversion plants, such as for pellets, BioOil, 2nd generation ethanol and torrefied wood; enhancing bio‐product transportation systems, such as port improvements, purpose‐built loaders, and specialized biofuel ships, and yielding massive amounts of biomass and large amounts of biofuel to support achievement of challenging renewable fuel targets.
The outcome is to produce/ export meaningful amounts of biomass in the form of pellets, ethanol and palm oil, and to expand biomass densification plants in unused regions.
We focus on establishing efficient ground and sea supply chains, with guarantees of biomass supply and guarantees of purchase of final product:
Biomass Supply Chain Management and Logistics
New biomass supply chain management system enables low‐cost handling and transportation of woody biomass. The concept of moving biomass using inland waterways and pneumatic loading instead of by truck or rail would considerably reduce the cost of getting wood fibre to coastal conversion plants.
Ultra-Light Freshwater Vessel for Biomass Transport
We design and build ultra‐light freshwater vessels. The design dimensions are length 110m, width 14m, and height to keel 8.5m. The operational depth is .45‐2.4m and the carrying capacity 2,920 tones. The fuel‐efficient operational speed is 8‐10 knots. The vessel has the ability to maneuver sideways and the sub‐surface parts are designed to withstand ice conditions. The capital cost is up to €20M, and potential government support has already been identified. The ship eliminates the need for €35‐45 million in truck costs over the 25‐30 year ship lifetime.
New Material for Shipbuilding
Lighter, cheaper and 30-50% more durable than steel, this material can be applied to in a variety of industries that use steel. Key industries include shipbuilding, automotive, construction, defense, and manufacturing. The material is produced by heating the alloy with a foaming agent, during the manufacturing process, the foaming agent dissipates to leave behind a honeycombed structure. If the foam is being produced within a steel sandwich or formed profile, the foam bonds to the steel plate at molten temperatures.
The uniqueness of the honeycombed metal foam is further characterized by its’ varied properties, including an excellent mass rigidity, strength to weight ratio, outstanding shock absorption and good damping qualities. These qualities are not just limited to sheets, 3D parts and formed out steel profiles can also be produced. The foam can be formed from a number of different materials, but those most developed technologically are based in aluminum and zinc.
The EU Maritime program has been exploring applications of our new ship design and shipbuilding that will revolutionize ship construction, and in the process has secured the material and technology licensing rights to this ground breaking process.
LNG Potential Future Fuel for Ships Project
Payback dependent on fuel prices: 15% reduction potential (taking into account extra methane); Reduction in other emissions as well. Barriers: Requires three times the space on ships of equivalent (by energy content) diesel; Availability of LPG in ports a challenge that would need to be solved; More relevant for new ships, as significant modification required for existing ships.
The design and development of an efficient distribution system for wood-cut materials working group has been active for over a decade. The efforts have been mostly in modal transportation and also in improving overall logistics costs. In addition CO2 efficiency, transportation of grooving volumes, loading, and unloading methods all needed new thinking. The effort can collectively be thought of as a new way of doing bulk transportation.
This effort of developing new technology and methods for massive bulk transportation was under a discussion on the round table conference on Haag, where the project team offered their help for closer investigation and analyses in order to prove the efficiency gains of the new approach.
Three critical areas of development have contributed to this state of the art bulk transportation and logistics system. The developments and current status are described below:
Inland Navigation Project