Maritime Environmental Technology, Sustainability and Challenges

Although seaborne transportation is the most environmentally friendly mode of transportation, environmental impacts brought about by shipping activities, e.g. air emissions from international shipping or waste created in the shipping processes, have been under increased scrutiny. The IMO (International Maritime Organization) has introduced new mandatory regulations such as the Ballast Water Management Convention, Antifouling Convention and MARPOL Annex VI. This environmental pressure coupled with volatile and high fuel prices has changed the market and become the trigger for innovative technologies and solutions.

This module focuses on environmental aspects of the shipping industry – from energy efficiency to ballast water management, along with relevant technologies and challenges faced in the aim of achieving sustainable maritime development. It examines environmental issues, associated present and expected legislation, and the available and expected options to address the issues with their associated pros & cons as well as management aspects of implementation and monitoring.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, you should be able to:

  • Explain environmental and economic pressures, air emissions (pollutants and GHGs), externalities and international responses

  • Describe energy management in the maritime industry and MARPOL Annex VI (Chapter IV), and energy efficiency options during ship design and operation

  • Discuss alternative fuels and marine renewable energy

  • Discuss life-cycle considerations of retrofitting and decision making under trade-off situations

  • Describe ballast water and bio-fouling management as well as waste management

  • Discuss oil pollution and recycling, and anti-fouling

  • Understand acoustic pollution

  • Discuss innovation and future shipping

Course outline

  • Environmental awareness and market context, emissions to air

  • Energy efficiency and management, MARPOL Annex VI (Ch. 4), energy efficiency options (operation)

  • Alternative fuels & renewable energy

  • Retrofitting, life-cycle analysis, and decision making

  • Ballast water and bio-fouling management, waste management, oil pollution and recycling, acoustic pollution, anti-fouling

  • Innovation and future shipping