Gallery: New Mitsubishi Technology Makes Ships More Efficient by Blowin...


A new technology from Mitsubishi will make large ships more fuel efficient by using tiny air bubbles to reduce the friction of the ship’s hull on the water. The company has completed the conceptual design of the MALS-14000CS cargo ship that will use the proprietary Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System (MALS). The conceptual design pairs MALS with other state of the art emissions reductions technology totaling an overall emissions reduction of 35%. MALS reduces friction by supplying air to the vessel’s underside therefore creating a layer of tiny bubbles that allow the ship to glide with less friction between the hull and the seawater below.

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  1. stiophan January 16, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    LA Port is one of the big reasons why pacific container shipping is trying to be more green. They are offering incentives for those that can cut emissions. US Ports are also ‘recommending’ better eco results from cruise liners who had ignored eco issues – until Ports and consumers showed Cruise liners were big polluters with a massive carbon and waste footprint.
    If European and US ports start fining dirty ships then there it will create a demand to dump these smokestacks of the sea. Shipping is an easy target and ship builders need more than just ever bigger ships (who are constrained by Panama and Suez is size anyway) and the days of burning cheap dirty oil is not

  2. Matt Bancroft November 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Interesting that the Japanese government is involved in the development of the technology (for a clearly non-military ship). Those commies…

    When is the US going to realize that good things can happen when promising technology can be nurtured by government investment, and that it’s not always better to let something sit idle until the profit motive is great enough. By then, someone else has it and you’re playing catch-up ball, or paying them for it.

    I’d rather have government spending on those kinds of national priorities than pouring it down the holes of dishonest bankers and military contractors.

  3. tahrey January 30, 2012 at 9:36 am

    If it’s a “14000 TEU*3″ vessel, then surely that means it’s capable of carrying THOUSANDS of SIXTY-foot containers? Fourteen thousand to be exact? Rather than hundreds of twenty-footers? The latter is more the apparent capacity of the freight trains that keep going by my window and I’d be quite disappointed if a supermassive container-ship could only hold one train’s-worth. That’s more the capacity of a Ro-Ro ferry…

    This is very interesting however. I’m intrigued to how this can work without causing the ship to sink, as frothy, bubbly waters are sometimes implicated in mysterious sinkings (the ship is then trying to remain buoyant on air, rather than water, which fails to work). I mean, work it must, otherwise this wouldn’t have gotten through the preliminary modelling stages… but how?

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