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One solution to the problem of carbon emissions in shipping could include a “flying” electric boat whose hull does not touch the water, according to an article published by the BBC.

The Pioneer of Belfast, created by Artemis Technologies, is the world’s first commercial electric foiling workboat.

The foil in question is a kind of wing attached to the underside of the boat. It lifts the vessel out of the water with the help of an electric motor, reducing drag. This reduces fuel costs by 90% and does not produce emissions.

In its current form, the boat is particularly suited to transporting crew to and from offshore wind farms. It’s able to operate closer to the harbour and at greater speed than other vessels because it does not produce damaging wake.

Artemis Technology employs experts from motorsports, aeronautics and naval architecture, as well as flight control specialists.

Programme director Katrina Thompson, herself an aeronautical engineer, noted that the industry is slow to adopt new technologies but said: "If we start now, we can make a smoother journey towards decarbonisation."

In 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) set an industry target of halving carbon emissions by 2050, compared with their level in 2008.

Other technologies that are being developed by innovators to meet this target include syngas produced by artificial photosynthesis (syngas is a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide used in the production of fuel), and “clean” three-mast sailing ships that can carry up to 250 tonnes of cargo.

Source: BBC News

Header image: Jorge Vasconez

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