Flotte Hamburg, TU Hamburg partner up for cleaner air in the port

The Flotte Hamburg (FLH), a city-owned shipping company, and Hamburg University of Technology (TU Hamburg) have joined forces to make a contribution to improving air quality in the Port of Hamburg.

Illustration. Port of Hamburg

In order to achieve climate neutrality by 2050a climate target set by the European Union, carbon dioxide (CO2) needs to be reduced above all, not only on the streets and in the air but also on the water.

To make their contribution, FLH — which operates the city’s inland vessels in a comprehensive fleet management system — will cooperate with TU Hamburg.

Prof. Dr. 
Friedrich Wirz, Gunnar Hintz and Thilo Jürgens-Tatje from the TU ship mechanical engineering working group support the Flotte Hamburg. Photo: HPA/Port of Hamburg

“The networking of Hamburg know-how and the scientific support of our sustainability efforts lay the foundation for a climate-neutral operation of our ship fleet,” Karsten Schönewald, Managing Director of FLH, commented.

Through a variety of measures such as switching to low-emission fuels, innovative propulsion solutions and exhaust gas after-treatment, FLH has already been able to significantly reduce the emission of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter and thus make a contribution to improving air quality in the Port of Hamburg.

In cooperation with the experts of the TU working group on ship mechanical engineering (ASM), this is now to be built on and the current environmental strategy of the Hamburg fleet is to be further developed into a “zero-emissions concept”.

Since there are sometimes considerable differences between the driving profiles of the ships of the FLH, the ASM will be examining which type of propulsion and which alternative fuel are suitable for which type of ship in the course of the cooperation.

“I am looking forward to the forthcoming cooperation. With the cooperation, we will make a contribution to making the Hamburg fleet a pioneer in alternative ship propulsion systems, strengthening Hamburg as a research location and, above all, protecting the climate,” Friedrich Wirz, head of the ASM, said.

The research results obtained not only flow directly into practice but also into further research and teaching. On the one hand, this creates a data pool that is valuable for further research, and on the other hand, students at TU Hamburg have the opportunity to participate in the practical project through student work.

The marine engineering working group

The ASM has been dealing with the topics of alternative fuels and hybridization for several years. For example, a simulation environment for ship propulsion systems has been developed in recent years, with which the behavior of engines and battery systems in ship use can be simulated.

In addition, ASM operates a large research engine with liquified natural gas and a fuel laboratory. In this project, ASM can therefore contribute expertise from various research projects on innovative ship propulsion systems.

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