Shipping adds more than a billion tons of CO2 emissions per year to the atmosphere and the industry knows it’s a problem. They have set a target to cut emmissions in half by 2050. While there are no magic wands, there are companies working on it, and as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention.

One company, Silverstram Technologies, based in London, has developed a system that releases air along the bottom of a ship to make it more slippery. The bubbles act as a kind of lubricant that enables ships to glide more easily on the water.

Air lubrication fundamentally changes the interaction between water and a vessel’s hull, creating a carpet of bubbles that coats the full flat bottom of a vessel. As a result, frictional resistance is reduced – dramatically reducing fuel consumption and associated emissions.

Massive compressors pump air under the hulls of ships to release millions of bubbles.

Noah Silberschmidt, CEO of Silverstream Technologies, is an entrepreneur with a financial and shipping background. His company is 100% focused on delivering innovative clean technology to the shipping industry.

It would be interesting to see this technology make its way from ships to smaller craft as the tech continues to develop. A huge barrier to wider adoption of motor yachts is the cost of the fuel. If you could hit 25 knots at the fuel consumption of 15, that would make a huge difference. Is a compressor pumping air bubbles under the hull coming to sport cruiser near you?