We hear a lot about vehicles powered by fossil fuels and electricity. But fish as a power source? Not so much.
However, that’s the direction one major cruise line is taking. It’s found a way to create a biogas out of the parts leftover after factories process fish for food — and by transitioning to this biogas, Norwegian cruise line Hurtigruten thinks it’ll be able to decrease its ships’ negative impact on the environment.
When organic matter breaks down in the absence of oxygen, it produces a mix of gasses that together form a biogas. Hurtigruten plans to create its own biogas from a mix of fish leftovers and other organic waste. It will then liquify this gas and use the fuel to power its ships.
By 2021, the company hopes to have at least six of its 17 ships converted to run on a combination of this biogas and large battery packs that will store energy generated by renewables.
“While competitors are running on cheap, polluting heavy fuel oil, our ships will literally be powered by nature,” Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam said in a press release. “Biogas is the greenest fuel in shipping and will be a huge advantage for the environment. We would love other cruise companies to follow.”
Hurtigruten isn’t the first transportation company to make the transition to greener fuel. But generating power from fish heads and guts? That’s a decidedly strange move — and one that Skjeldam sees as totally logical for his company.
“Norway is a large shipping nation, but fishery and forestry are also large sectors,” he told The Guardian. “They create jobs and produce income, but they also produce a lot of waste products. The steady access to high volumes of organic waste gives the Nordic countries a unique position on the biogas market.”
READ MORE: Dead Fish to Power Cruise Ships [The Guardian]
More on biogas: You Can Now Make Biogas Right from Your Home