“We’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it.” ~Washington Governor Jay Inslee.
With the incessant pumping of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, climate scientists are convinced that average temperatures will continue to rise, warming oceans, melting more ice, raising sea levels and making ‘normal’ droughts drier, heat waves hotter and storms more violent and disruptive.
It is becoming increasingly clear that if we are to sustain this planet for an expected nine billion people by 2050, we need to urgently take money away from subsidizing polluting fossil fuels and instead promote renewable forms of energy. We also need to incentivize industries to take the lead in sustainable manufacturing and in ensuring protection of air, water and land.
While many countries have initiated and implemented sustainable development plans, Germany has taken the lead in undertaking a massive shift in the way it produces energy. Considered the green leader in Europe, Germany has set itself the ambitious target of achieving 80 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, such as solar, wind, hydro and biomass, by 2050.
It is no surprise therefore that Alexander Proch, a German marine captain working on commercial super yachts for 23 years, designed and invented filters and fuel optimizers capable of saving as much as 90 percent of the oil, and five percent of diesel –if the whole filtration system is used, as well as their bearing costs on vehicles.
Under the motif of ‘It’s time to go Green’, Proch formed the German technology company Micfil International Technology Corporation, to design and manufacture filters and fuel optimizing systems for oil, maritime, mining, transport and production industry. The filters sold by the company are designed to keep the oils so rigorously clean that no oil change is ever required, thereby reducing oil consumption and eliminating the need for waste oil disposal. This helps to not only lower costs but also to reduce carbon emissions and to keep the whole process environmentally friendly.
The efficiency of the Micfil system can be attributed to the use of ultra-fine filters and systems that can potentially save thousands of liters of used oil from being disposed off. The system also considerably reduces the chance of accidents and spillages during the transportation of large amounts of oil around the world.
Proch’s interest in designing a more efficient fuel filtering system began during his time as marine captain. He noticed that the maritime industry was faced with the need to use huge quantities of oil and then dispose of the waste oil, as well as hold a large inventory of spare parts, all of which increased cost to the owners and to the marine environment.
It was this that led him to invent the Micfil technology system. He decided to try out the new system by installing it on all the engines of his yacht, which included two Northernlights 70kW and45kW generators, two Cats 3412 main engines, gearboxes and hydraulic systems, with ultra-fine filters. He immediately began to notice significant reduction in oil consumption, less wastage and increased efficiency from the engines
Today, his company operates in 35 countries across Europe, South America, Africa, Middle-East and Asia, with its products mainly used by commercial, military, coast guard, super yacht, fishing and private operators and by the shipping industry.
Proch says that test have proven the quality of oil gets better for the engine as you use it for a longer time period. He believes, "As a captain and an engineer, I find it very important to start with environmental protection on my yacht without waiting for the politics to make it better. We are working in the yachting industry, talking about nature and what we could and should do. The Micfil technology is a step towards what we can do and change our behavior towards the environment."
During a recent seminar, held by Micfil, Kuwait, in association with their local agents in the country, Ahmad Abdullatif Al-Othman General Trading and Contracting Company, Proch was welcomed by General Manager Abdullatif Al-Othman. Proch said, "With our operations here, we are looking at saving about five percent of the engine oil market."
While the Micfil technology is a known system on board river ships that run day and night in Germany, the company has also recently gained a significant penetration in the Qatari market. The filters, though imperceptible to the public, have played a major role in Qatar's sustainability efforts — including in the country's airport project by the multi-dimensional Al Jaber Group of Companies; in military trucks operated by the Qatar army; in equipment for the country’s Metro and in Qatar’s Al Khor explorative sea shore projects.
Balhaf Services, the Qatar-based collaborators of Micfil, which mainly runs technical integrity tests for companies in order to help them realize substantial savings on maintenance and service costs from year to year, sees a tremendous amount of scope for the technology in the Middle-East.
Speaking during the seminar, Belhaf Services General Manager, Adel Al-Adimi, said, "Given the massive amount of activities in the oil industries of the Middle-East, we are fast mapping our way through the region, beginning with the GCC states."
By Ghazal Kotwani