2007-2008 Projects

  • Environmental Effects of Marine Transportation: Develop an Environmental Management System ModelClick to Download
    Lynn Corson, Purdue University

    The American Great Lakes Ports Association (AGLPA) partnered with the Clean Manufacturing Technology Institute (CMTI) at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana to examine the environmental management aspects of port operations, including the oversight of tenant operations that could negatively impact the environment. As a component of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Maritime Industry’s "Green Marine" initiative, AGLPA approached Purdue University (CMTI) in 2006 to assist them in developing a project to: 1) survey environmental practices at Great Lakes ports, 2) compile a catalogue of best management practices for port operations, and 3) develop a simplified Environmental Management System tool that would help small port entities improve environmental performance.

    The project evaluated twelve U.S. and Canadian ports with regard to a host of environmental issues. The goal was to identify areas of opportunity at Great Lakes ports for environmental improvement. Perhaps of greatest use, the project developed a manual of best practices that will assist small ports in finding ways to manage environmental issues within limited budget and staff resources. The research was conducted via two-day site visits to each of the twelve ports and interviews with port and tenant personnel, tours of port/tenant facilities and internet and other document research.

  • Great Lakes Maritime Transportation K-12 Education Program for Teachers, Students & CommunitiesClick to Download
    Ms. Joan Chadde, Michigan Technological University
    To address the need for an informed citizenry, this project addressed the GLMRI Focus Area of K-12 public education and outreach programs and provided several venues to address this area through Michigan Technological University’s Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics & Environmental Education. Throughout this project, we:
    • Conducted a 2-day lesson-writing workshop for pre/post-visit use by classroom teachers at Whitefish Point Lighthouse in Paradise, MI, in partnership with the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society
    • Conducted three teacher workshops in Hancock, Sault Ste. Marie, and Alpena, Michigan in partnership with two intermediate school districts and the Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuar
    • Conducted a 6-day summer teacher institute in Duluth, Minnesota
    • Assembled and disseminated 12 Great Lakes Maritime Transportation Education Treasure Chests to museums and education centers in PA, MI, WI, MN with financial support from Lake Carriers’ Association
    • Made four conference presentations at the Michigan Science Teachers Association, Michigan Council of Social Studies Teachers, National Science Teachers Association, and the Ship Operators Cooperative Program
    • Provided incentives for program participants to conduct conference presentations and submit articles related to Great Lakes shipping
    • Completed the text and graphic design for "F is for Freighter: An Introduction to Great Lakes Shipping," maintained the Great Lakes Maritime Transportation Education website
    • Completed the text and graphic design for "K-8 Great Lakes Maritime Transportation Lessons."
  • Intermodal Freight Transport in the Great Lakes: Development and Application of a Great Lakes Geographic Intermodal Freight Transport Model Click to Download
    Dr. James J. Winebrake, Rochester Institute of Technology

    The Great Lakes region is an important corridor for freight transportation in the United States (US).  The region serves as a connection between the Midwest and the Eastern seaboard and includes such major industrial cities as Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Toronto, among others. Within this region, three modes of freight transportation dominate: rail, truck, and ship.  Each of these modes presents a different set of attributes to shippers, consumers, and society, including: economic costs, time-of-delivery, environmental impact, reliability, and energy use.

    For the most part, shipping decisions in the Great Lakes region (as in other parts of the country) are made by considering economic costs, reliability, and time-of-delivery.  Unless mandated by law, environmental impacts are usually ignored, as they represent social costs that are not captured in the market prices for transportation services.  Moreover, few tools exist that can help decision makers characterize and evaluate the environmental impacts of their shipping decisions.

    This project provides such a tool for the Great Lakes region by enhancing the Geospatial Intermodal Freight Transport (GIFT) model currently under development in a joint research collaborative between Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and the University of Delaware.  GIFT is a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) based model that integrates water, rail, and road transportation networks and intermodal transfer facilities to create an intermodal network that can be used to solve a variety of interesting problems.  In particular, GIFT calculates optimal routing of freight between origin and destination points based on user-defined objectives. GIFT not only solves for typical objectives such as costs and time-of-delivery, but also for energy and environmental objectives, including emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx), particulate matter (PM10), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

  • Further Development and Optimization of the Ballast Free Ship Design Concept Click to Download
    Dr. Michael G. Parsons, University of Michigan

    The initial investigation of the Ballast-Free Ship concept demonstrated the feasibility of the concept though a thorough examination of various design aspects.  The effectiveness of the concept, in terms of eliminating the transport of foreign ballast water from ships operating in the ballast condition, was also demonstrated by utilizing Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software to simulate the flow in the double bottom ballast trunks of the vessel.  Nevertheless, this initial investigation did not succeed in showing the full cost-effectiveness of the concept. The main reason was a significant fuel penalty that resulted from an increased power requirement found in the initial hydrodynamic testing of a non-optimized discharge configuration on an existing, higher-speed vessel with a non-optimum propeller. 

    The ongoing GLMRI sponsored research project has undertaken further hydrodynamic investigation of the Ballast-Free Ship concept; both experimental and numerical. The experimental investigation was performed by utilizing the Seaway-size bulk carrier model that was designed and built as part of the initial phase of this project.  Resistance and propulsion tests were performed with this model in the towing tank of the University of Michigan Marine Hydrodynamic Laboratory in January 2007.  The initial numerical investigations were performed utilizing the commercial CFD software FLUENT

  • Erie Pier Process Re-Use Cost and Market Analysis Click to Download
    Dr. Rodger Brannan, University of Minnesota Duluth
    Although many ports face Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) capacity pressure, the Duluth-Superior Port has an urgent need to implement an alternative plan to the status quo for dredged materials. This project was proposed to determine cost accounting and capital budgeting for a proposed Process Re-use Facility (PRF). Previous work, such as the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP) for the Duluth- Superior Harbor, April 1999, and the Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Interstate Council’s Erie Pier Management Plan, June 2007 identified possible re-uses for dredged material. The possible customer list included mineland reclamation projects, construction sites, road construction, daily landfill cover, topsoil creation and enhancement, habitat restoration, and habitat creation.
  • Building Sustainable Solutions to the Issue of Ballast Water Treatment: Testing Relationships Between Propagule Pressure and Colonization Success of Invasive SpeciesClick to Download
    Dr. Donn K. Branstrator, University of Minnesota Duluth

    This multi-year project addresses the issue of ballast water treatment by examining the efficacy of the standards that will be applied concerning permissible levels of biological pollution.  The over-arching objective of the project is to quantify the relationships between propagule pressure and the colonization success of zooplankton in the Duluth-Superior Harbor and St. Louis Estuary through dose-gradient experiments that bracket International Maritime Organization standards.

  • Development and Succession of Microbial Communities Associated with Corroding Steel Pilings in the Duluth-Superior Harbor Click to Download
    Dr. Randall Hicks, University of Minnesota Duluth

    The overall objective of this research is to determine if corrosion of sheet steel pilings observed in the Duluth-Superior harbor is accelerated by microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC). This report provides the progress-to-date on a multi-year effort.

  • Shipboard Testing of B20 Click to Download
    Dr. Daniel N. Pope, University of Minnesota Duluth

    Main engine emissions and fuel consumption were monitored on R/V Blue Heron from 14 May 2008 to 30 October 2008. Two different primary fuels were used during the test period; no. 2 diesel and B20 (a mixture of 20% biodiesel and 80% diesel).  The goals of the project were to determine the change in emissions and fuel consumption associated with switching from no. 2 diesel to B20 and to investigate any operational issues, including material compatibility, that are associated with the use of B20.

  • The Great Lakes Maritime Information Delivery System: A Resource for the Regional Analysis of Intermodal Freight Flows in the Great Lakes Region Click to Download
    Dr. Peter S. Lindquist, University of Toledo

    This project marked the third phase of a long-term endeavor to develop and manage the Great Lakes Maritime Transportation Delivery System (GLMTDS).  The GLMTDS is designed to serve as a comprehensive data repository and information clearinghouse in support of intermodal maritime commerce in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway region. The system is further envisioned to serve as a resource for public policy decisions and for drawing the link between maritime freight movements, economic viability, and environmental quality throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway.

    This data gateway is particularly focused on providing support data for analysis in several key focus areas including:

    • Economic impact of Great Lakes shipping

    • Safety issues associated with diverting freight traffic to GL MTS

    • Environmental impacts/benefits compared to other modes

    • Shipper savings associated with GL MTS

    • Congestion effects of other modes in comparison to GL MTS

    • Competition effects of Maritime Transportation and rate increases in other modes

    • Shift in intermodal connections and transshipment costs (e.g., "full cost" studies – pavement damage, fuel, savings, crashes, etc.)

    • The value of shipping to states, cities, regions, etc.

    • Regional employment

*Reports are in PDF format. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader.

Latest News:

Inland Waterways LNG Stakeholders Meeting, St. Louis, Missouri

The Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute (GLMRI) in conjunction with and support from the Maritime Administration, Department of Transportation, hosted a meeting of stakeholders to discuss the possibilities of using Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a marine fuel for the inland waterways".

Third annual meeting on regional Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) potential held May 21st

LNG experts discussed LNG uses and the safety culture along with their experiences as current users. The afternoon panel highlighted the potential benefits of using LNG, themed "greening the supply chain". More details here.

Meeting to Discuss Base Local Demand and Siting for an LNG Liquefaction Plant

Potential LNG fuel users from mining, agricultural, trucking, rail and maritime sectors met to determine if there is sufficient base load demand within a 200 mile region to warrant development of an LNG liquefaction and fuel transport, storage and distribution network centered in Duluth/Superior. Work continues to consider siting and determine supply chain demand. Presentations from the meeting

Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers Meeting Highlights

The SNAME Section meeting was held on Feb. 13-14 in conjunction with the Great Lakes Waterways Conference in Clevelandl. Read meeting highlights here