Cabins on cruise ships to become more sustainable

2022-12-14 Leuphana involved in research and development project

Lüneburg/Berlin. Leuphana University Lüneburg is a member of the EcoCab consortium. The project aims to develop approaches for sustainable, self-sufficient and recyclable passenger cabins on cruise ships. The results have now been presented at the Maritime Technologies Status Conference of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) in Berlin.

The cruise industry is viewed critically because of its emissions of substances that are harmful to the climate, environment and health. There are multiple efforts to transform the sector in terms of sustainable development. The importance of energy consumption, air conditioning and materials used for a sustainable design of passenger cabins was researched in the EcoCab project.

The sustainable cabin of the future should comply with the Cradle to Cadle design principles, i.e. be suitable for a circular economy. Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart and his colleague Kamila Szwejk from Leuphana accompanied the transfer of the principles to the cabin system and supported both the evaluation of currently used cabin components and the search for alternatives that are characterised by recyclability and material health.

Those involved on the Leuphana side also dealt extensively with the current recycling processes of ships as well as possible intervention points and business models for closing material cycles. A demonstrator cabin was created on the grounds of MEYER WERFT in Papenburg, which presents the alternative components that are already operational today and is intended to serve as a platform for testing and demonstrating future developments.

In addition to Leuphana, members of the research consortium were MEYER WERFT GmbH & Co. KG as project coordinator, the Institute for Networked Energy Systems of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics (IBP), MAC Hamburg GmbH and EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH. The project, which will run for a good three years, was funded by the BMWK.