NYK to Participate in Joint Study to Convert Organic Materials Processed aboard Oceangoing Vessels into Fuel

Oct. 24, 2022

Astomos Energy Corporation (Astomos Energy), Sustainable Energy Development Co. Ltd. (Sustainable Energy), and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) have agreed to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly study the establishment of a marine transportation system having less environmental impact through the effective use of organic substances generated on board ships. With the signing of this MoU, the three companies will take initiatives aimed at addressing social problems and contributing to decarbonization.

Waste generated on board is stored on the ship's deck and discharged at ports of call, where it is then collected. Through the process of transport and incineration of the waste, CO2 is generated. For example, approximately 5,000 liters of waste, mainly plastic dust, is generated from a large LPG carrier (VLGC) for every 45-day voyage between Japan and the Middle East.

To address this issue, NYK has agreed to an MoU with Astomos Energy, an LPG distributor, and Sustainable Energy, a company working to realize a recycling-oriented society by converting unused resources into energy, to start a joint study with a view to develop an organic fuel conversion business by installing Sustainable Energy's ISOP system (ISOP) on board ships. ISOP generates biofuel from combustible garbage and other materials.

Sustainable Energy's ISOP is a new organic waste treatment system that converts waste into energy. ISOP can reduce CO2 emissions from the entire organic waste treatment process by converting the bio-components of the waste into fuel. ISOP is characterized by the fact that it does not require waste segregation. Also, its treatment system can be made smaller. By installing ISOPs on oceangoing vessels, CO2 emissions from marine transportation as a whole are expected to be reduced by utilizing the treated bio-components as energy.

In addition, more onboard storage space can be made available through onboard processing of organic materials generated during the voyage. ISOP is thus expected to improve the working environment of seafarers in terms of sanitary conditions.

The three companies will proceed with a joint study targeting completion of the onboard demonstration test and implementation of ISOP on a vessel by the mid-2020s.

Waste stored on ship's deck

Image by NYK

Overview of the ISOP system

Image by NYK

NYK Group, press release