In Japan, shipping major Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) has announced that it has invested in compatriot waste-to-energy technology developer Sustainable Energy Co. Ltd (Sustainable Energy) to support the commercialization of its innovative technology. Through this investment, NYK Line will begin joint studies on converting organic waste such as garbage and sludge generated on vessels into fuel by utilizing the ISOP system.
Founded in 2014, Sustainable Energy has developed an innovative integrated technology system that decomposes organic materials into a solid product.
Using subcritical water, Sustainable Energy’s proprietary Integrated Subcritical water Organic waste Power generation system (ISOP) comprises equipment that decomposes organic substances such as combustible waste into solid low-molecular-weight compounds in the form of powdery and dry substances.
These materials can then be used as feedstock to produce renewable energy carriers such as biocoal, biocoke, biomethane (aka renewable natural gas – RNG), and hydrogen.
Scalable and feedstock flexible
According to NYK Line, a key advantage is that the ISOP system does not require waste segregation and is effective for combustible waste, vinyl and plastic, styrene foam, clothing, food waste, organic sludge, animal manure and sludge, woodchips, and almost all other organic substances.
Furthermore, the process does not generate harmful substances such as dioxins. It is scalable meaning that it can be easily made larger or smaller depending on site conditions and client needs.
The ISOP system is expected to be used in a variety of situations, such as urban-area office buildings, municipalities, and disaster areas, among others, and mobile truck-mounted models are also being developed.
Potential onboard application
By investing an undisclosed amount in Sustainable Energy, NYK Line aims to support the commercialization of this innovative technology.
In addition, the companies will jointly study the technology as an onboard waste management system by producing energy raw materials from organic waste such as garbage and sludge using an ISOP system installed on a vessel.