01An environmental problem in the centre of Europe
When alternating liquid goods are transported in tankers, the problem of cleaning the tank arises on a regular basis. In addition to the liquid, the gaseous substances need to be removed from the last load when the ship, on the next route, is to be filled with a different product. In the past, this was often done by airing out the tanks! This meant that whenever an inland shipping tanker which had previously been filled with petrol was to be aired out, as much as 6000 litres of petrol were blown into the atmosphere – a major environmental burden for the Rhine region, as an example.
02Brilliance in Technology
A large enterprise planned the development of a cleaning system for inland shipping tankers intended to condense and pump out the gaseous phase of the transported liquid by cooling it down. For this purpose, harbours are equipped with corresponding installations. Environmental protection without added financial burdens – the cost of the cleaning process is covered by the revenue from the sale of the condensed petrol.
One possible funding programme for the development – including construction, setup and test-operation of pilot plants – is the German federal programme by the name of “Schfffahrtstechnik” (Marine Technology). This programme supports new developments that promote the competitiveness of the marine industry.