Blockchain and DNA based fuel tracking set to launch

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Blockchain and DNA-based marine fuels tracking solution BunkerTrace is set to go live

BunkerTrace, a blockchain and DNA-based fuels tracking solution, is to launch commercially following a successful trial in the Netherlands

The solution, which adds DNA markers to fuel at every stage of the supply chain and records each transaction in a blockchain-based system, has already received significant interest from ports, bunker suppliers and vessel operators.

By combining blockchain and DNA-based tagging, BunkerTrace creates an immutable audit trail, which follows the fuel and any changes made to it. It also records all activities and sign-offs by actors trading the fuel. BunkerTrace provides evidence of compliance with IMO 2020 and ensures that at every point in the supply chain, it’s easy for stakeholders to check if the fuel they are moving, loading, buying or selling is the product that it’s meant to be, even if fuel has been blended or mixed.

In the recent trial, a Boskalis-owned dredge, Prins der Nederlanden, was bunkered with 900 cubic metersof DMA 0.1% sulfur ISO 8217:2010 compliant fuel supplied by Minerva with a unique tracer added. The crew then successfully detected this mark with an on-board analysis case that took less than one minute, with the result of the test being logged in a blockchain- based transaction record.

BunkerTrace is a joint venture between Forecast Technology Ltd. and BLOC (Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration).

To tag the fuels, it uses “oligonucleotides” (short single strands of synthetic DNA) to provide a virtually unlimited number of unique, secure codes (fingerprints), which are encoded with the information on quality and origin of fuels from the BunkerTrace solution. Taken together, these elements create an immutable chain of custody audit trail that follows the fuel, and any changes made to it, throughout the supply chain and records all activities and sign offs by actors transacting the fuel. The prototype for BunkerTrace was developed by the Maritime Blockchain Labs (MBL) consortium, funded by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

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