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I met with Frode Lundsteen Hansen, CEO and Co-founder at the cushions in TechBBQ shortly after it opened its doors. I came across his details in the lead up to the event and was fascinated that his company plans to add millions of air bubbles to boats that would actually help them slide through water, faster and more fuel efficiently. We eventually sat down and I asked how the concept came about and how does it actually work?

The whole idea came about because the shipping industry is very conservative and it needs to change. Changes are not coming from within it however, it’s external. First, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) implemented a new regulation that actually requires them to cut 85% of the sulphur levels in fuel by January 2020. This is a significant change! Currently, fuels are quite “dirty” and this change to low sulphur will be very expensive.

The shipping industry currently has 91,000 ships in operation, so no change like this will be overnight. So we thought how can we help retrofit these ships and meet the new regulation in time? We across a technology called Air Lubrication. It’s been around for some time but not been that successful. They thought that by simply pumping air under a ship, physics would do the rest to raise it. However, it was proven to not work that way, it simply moved the air around the ship and up and out. So our mission was to find a way to make the bubbles stick to the hull and that we discovered was by using microbubbles.

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