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Air Lubrication

A proven technology that can cut fuel consumption and emissions

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Air lubrication can cut your fuel consumption and emissions

When you reduce the amount of power needed to push your vessel through the water, you reduce the amount of fuel it needs to consume - and the emissions it generates. One of the ways to do this is air lubrication.

Air lubrication reduces the frictional resistance of a ship’s hull by creating a carpet of microbubbles on the full flat bottom of a vessel’s hull. Air lubrication can reduce fuel consumption and associated GHG emissions by up to 10%. It is suitable for a wide range of ships, including LNG carriers, RoPax/RoRo vessels, bulkers, container ships, tankers, and cruise ships.

Key benefits

  • Can cut fuel consumption and associated emissions by up to 10%
  • Will work in all sea and weather conditions
  • Will not restrict or negatively impact the vessel’s normal operational profile
  • Improves operational flexibility by trading fuel savings for increased vessel speed as needed
  • For newbuilds, improves the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI)
  • For existing vessels, improves the Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI)

Typical air lubrication system components

The typical system components of an air lubrication system are the following:

  • Air release units: located at the leading edge on the bottom of the hull, within the bottom. The number of necessary air release units depends on the vessel size.
  • Compressors, connected to the air release units
  • Piping connects the compressors and air release units. 
  • Non-return valves will passively regulate the pressure.
  • A control system is also needed. It uses speed and air flow data to regulate the compressors. The system must also be connected to the vessel’s automation system to enable monitoring and alarms.


Cruise vessel Le Commandant Charcot ©PONANT-Daniel Ernst
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