By Stefan Kirchner

All too frequently, cargo ships transporting bulk cargo sink because of dry cargo liquefaction. By mixing cargo material (CM) with a non-reactive Drying Filler Material (DFM) the cargo hold could be filled completely regardless of the amount of CM to be transported, thus reducing the space in which the material inside the cargo hold can move. Due to the drying properties of the DFM, humidity in the CM could be reduced and stored in DFM particles, reducing the risk of liquefaction in the first place. Essentially one would add cat litter: just like cat litter, the DFM would bind humidity. Regular cat litter, made e.g. of bentonite, turns into clumps, which is what you want to avoid because you want to maintain the overall volume. Bigger items, such as wood pellets, though, might be more suitable. Potentially a better DFM must be engineered artificially. At the end of the journal CM and DFM would have to be separated. This would add some complications and costs to the overall process but might provide a way to reduce risks to the lives of seafarers.


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Stefan Kirchner



Published: 24 Feb, 2015

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