Ningbo Municipal Government

07/10/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/10/2024 00:11

For the first time in the world, the propeller of a super-large oil tank...

Bionic skin propellers. (Photo by Cheng Liangtian Gao Xiaojing)

On July 8, the Ningbo Institute of Materials of the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced that the first 300,000-ton ultra-large oil tanker installed with the bionic skin propeller jointly developed by the Institute and COSCO Shipping Energy successfully berthed at the Quanzhou Port Wharf after completing three voyages of crude oil transportation tasks.

This is the first time in the world that bionic flexible drag reduction materials have been applied to 300,000-ton ultra-large oil tankers, and energy-saving data collection of multiple voyages, long endurances and sea areas has been completed.

The voyage lasted nearly 200 days and covered more than 35,000 nautical miles, with routes between coastal China and major ports in the Middle East. The monitoring data shows that after the bionic skin is laid on the surface of the propeller, the fuel consumption of the actual ship decreases by about 2%. According to this calculation, a super-large oil tanker can save more than 300 tons of fuel per year, the direct economic benefit is more than 1 million yuan, and the carbon dioxide emission can be reduced by more than 900 tons.

It is reported that the bionic flexible drag reduction material has obtained the product certification of China Classification Society before the application of real ships, and meets the requirements of the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems for Ships.

The shipping industry is an important pillar of global economic activity, with more than 90% of global trade currently being carried out by sea. However, maritime transport consumes a lot of energy and is one of the significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions. According to the International Energy Agency, the maritime industry accounts for about 9% of global energy consumption and 3% of global carbon dioxide emissions. Therefore, it is of great significance for the country to achieve the "double carbon" goal by breaking through the key technologies of energy conservation and emission reduction of large ships and leading the green transformation of the global marine transportation industry.

During the ship's navigation, its energy consumption is mainly used to drive the propeller to generate thrust, thereby overcoming the resistance between the hull and the water and propelling the ship forward. Under the layout of Academician Xue Qunji of Ningbo Institute of Materials, Wang Liping and Zeng Zhixiang, researchers of the Key Laboratory of Marine Key Materials of the Institute, led the research team to carry out research work on surface interface bionic slip materials and marine aircraft drag reduction earlier.

"Marine Bionic Skin Drag Reduction and Energy Saving Technology" is a scientific research project jointly carried out by the Key Laboratory of Marine Key Materials of Ningbo Institute of Materials and COSCO SHIPPING Energy Co., Ltd.

Biomimetic skin, that is, an artificial material with similar characteristics of dolphin skin prepared by artificial synthesis method with reference to the physical and chemical properties of dolphin skin. The project researchers cleverly applied a skin material with dolphin-like skin characteristics to the propeller surface of a giant oil tanker to improve the propeller propulsion efficiency.

It is understood that in view of the good energy-saving and emission reduction effect achieved by marine bionic flexible drag reduction materials on real ships, COSCO SHIPPING Energy has worked closely with Ningbo Materials Institute to promote the drag reduction materials to more than 100 oil tanker fleets under COSCO SHIPPING Energy, which can bring significant economic benefits and reduce carbon dioxide emissions for COSCO SHIPPING Energy.