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LONDON/ COPENHAGEN: Software company Sea has joined the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping (the Center).

Sea provides commercial software for global maritime trade including a pre-trade intelligence & analytics tool that processes over 68.7 billion automatic identification system data points annually.

The tool can also provide emissions evaluations for analysis of green corridors and waiting times and fleet speed to estimate emission reductions.

“With Sea, the Center will get important insights into global fleet operations which can help us fast-track the development and implementation of green corridors, technology projects, and progressive regulatory frameworks,” commented CEO Bo Cerup-Simonsen.

According to the Center, the world’s 100,000 commercial vessels consume around 300 million tons of fuel every year - producing 3.0 percent of global carbon emissions.

Founded in 2020, the non-profit, independent research and development center aims to accelerate the transition towards a net-zero future for the maritime industry. With 15 knowledge partners including the Sustainable Shipping Initiative, Boston Consulting Group, Allen & Overy and the Global Maritime Forum, it facilitates the development and implementation of new technologies for system and regulation change.

“Our platform will accelerate the center’s work in enabling future solutions, concepts, and standards – including modelling viable decarbonisation pathways,” declared Sea CEO Peter Schroder. “Sea’s purpose is to power better decisions to enable sustainable shipping, so we’re proud to be joining this powerful alliance of global organizations.”

The Center has also attracted strategic partners that influence its strategic direction with ideas, knowledge, experience, people, network, financial resources and access to test facilities. Currently numbering 24, the group includes BP, Total Energies, Siemens Energy, MAN Energy Solutions, Rio Tinto, Cargill, DP World, as well as Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, NYK Line, Stolt Tankers, John Swire & Sons and Royal Caribbean.

HOUSTON, TX: A new process developed by the Rice University lab of chemist James Tour can turn bulk quantities of just about any carbon source – i.e. a banana peel - into valuable graphene flakes at a fraction of the current price of up to US$200,000 a ton.

Graphene is a one-atom-thick layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice that is 200 times stronger than steel. It is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity and when combined with other elements, including gases and metals, can produce batteries, transistors, computer chips, energy generation, supercapacitors, DNA sequencing, water filters, antennas, touchscreens and solar cells.

Tour says the “flash graphene” process using a custom-designed reactor can convert a ton of coal, food waste or plastic into graphene for a fraction of the cost used by other bulk methods.

“This is a big deal. The world throws out 30 – 40 percent of all food, because it goes bad, and plastic waste is of worldwide concern. We've already proven that any solid carbon-based matter, including mixed plastic waste and rubber tires, can be turned into graphene.”

Tour hopes to produce a kilo a day of flash graphene within two years in a project to convert American coal funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. “This could provide an outlet for coal in large scale by converting it inexpensively into a much-higher-value building material,” he said.

Flash graphene is made in 10 milliseconds by heating carbon-containing materials to about 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Food and plastic waste, petroleum coke, coal, wood clippings and biochar are prime candidates, according to Tour. “With the present commercial price of graphene being US$67,000 - US$200,000 per ton, the prospects for this process look superb.”

As little as 0.1 percent of flash graphene in the cement used to bind concrete could lessen its environmental impact by a third. Cement production emits as much as 8.0 percent of human-made CO2 every year.

“By strengthening concrete with graphene, we could use less concrete for building, and it would cost less to manufacture and less to transport,” he said. “Essentially, we’re trapping greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane that waste food would have emitted in landfills. We are converting those carbons into graphene and adding that graphene to concrete, thereby lowering the amount of carbon dioxide generated in concrete manufacture. It’s a win-win environmental scenario using graphene.”

“With our method, that carbon becomes fixed,” he added. “It will not enter the air again.”

Tour is the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry as well as a professor of computer science and of materials science and nanoengineering at Rice University.

FRANKFURT/OSLO: DB Schenker has signed a pre-study agreement with furniture manufacturer customer Ekornes and vessel designer Naval Dynamics with the goal of operating an autonomous, electric-powered, short-sea container feeder vessel between the Norwegian ports of Ikornnes and Alesund.

The ship leverages Naval Dynamics’ NDS AutoBarge 250 concept developed in partnership with marine technology company Kongsberg and autonomous vessel operator Massterly, who will use a team of certified navigators and naval engineers to monitor and control the vessel remotely.

The ship will complete the 43-kilometre trip between Ekornes’ own port and Alesund in three hours at a speed of 7.7 knots carrying up to 300 DWT of containerised cargo.

“We’re continuously working toward our goal of becoming the world’s leading manufacturer of sustainable premium furniture,” said Ekornes CEO Roger Lunde. “Utilizing the autonomous electric container feeder for direct pickups of our Stressless products from our own dock in Ikornnes means that our total carbon footprint will be reduced significantly. We will also gain better control over, and greater flexibility with, our own logistics.”

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