Shipping giant Maersk has been making a number on interesting efficient improvements in its containers ships as of late, and now is testing algae-biofuels as well: Right now the Maersk Kalmar is en route from Northern Europe to India running a blend of algae-biofuel and petroleum-based fuel.
During the 30-day trip, over 6500 nautical miles, a variety of blend percentages will be tested, including testing how well the ship performs on 100% biofuel. Emissions of greenhouse gases as well as particulate pollution are being monitored along the route as part of the test as well.
Maersk Line's Head of Climate and Environment says of the effort:
The shipping industry needs to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas intensity in the coming decades. In the short term we can gain a lot by focusing on improving fuel efficiency. In the longer term we would like to sustainable biofuels become a commercial available, low-carbon fuel.
And so would the US Navy, which is collaborating with Maersk on the test. The Navy has been testing biofuels from various sources, in both its ships and planes, under its Green Strike Force initiative—which if all goes well will see an entire mission powered by biofuels by 2016.