‘ The Atmosphere’ in operation

Hannes Bogaert & Rodrigo Ezeta,

MARIN officially opened ‘The Atmosphere’ in October 2020. This new facility, with an autoclave of 15 m long and 2.5 m diameter at its heart, offers researchers a precisely controlled testing environment.

Liquids and gases can be circulated through the autoclave, and their temperature can be independently controlled from 15°C to 200 °C. The autoclave can be depressurised down to 5 mbar, and pressurised up to 10 bar. Gas compositions of nitrogen, helium, sulphur hexafluoride or steam/water vapour can be created within an accuracy of ±1 volume percent. The 76.5 m3 autoclave can accommodate setups of up to 8,000 kg, which can be linked to gas and liquid connections.

‘The Atmosphere’ has been built through SLING, a project funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and industry, and through the LNG PITCH4 project. Both projects aim to support the

shipping industry’s efforts to emit 50% less CO2 by 2050 by focusing on natural gas and hydrogen for example.

SLING is advancing knowledge about the optimal design and operation of cryogenic fuel tanks, whereby wave impacts from the sloshing ‘boiling’ fuel in the tank are the dominating design loads. Scientists in ‘The Atmosphere’ work with the industry to unravel the complex physics of those wave impacts. A custom-built 12.5 m long, 0.6 m wide and 1.2 m tall flume tank with a heavy, instrumented impact wall is available at the facility to study wave impacts in different conditions. Using a piston-type wave generator, diverse kinds of waves are created.

‘The Atmosphere’ is open to a broad range of sectors and those involved in NWO- funded projects only have to pay the operational costs. In addition to new questions on cryogenic fuel tanks, we have been approached to assess solutions that make use of air bubbles to mitigate underwater noise, and to conduct research into the spreading of airborne droplets to mitigate the transmission of viruses. If you need support for a fundamental research project, need a proof of concept or require more insight into your processes, please get in touch with us at



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