Ballast Water Management and Treatment by vow85608

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        Ballast Water: Management
        and Treatment
        This article reviews the options open to the shipping community,
        the pluses and disadvantages of various systems. Shipowners are
        increasingly looking for a ‘ballast water management plan’,
        writes Birgir Nielsen, Managing Director OptiMarin A/S.




        B
                      iological invasions by non-         last water, according to regulations specified   use of Active Substances” during MEPC’s
                      native, invasive species have       in the new IMO convention. However, BWE          53rd session in July this year. These guide-
                      significant ecological, econom-     is regarded by IMO as an interim measure         lines will give the manufacture a clear idea
                      ic and human health impacts.        only and “that the aim is to produce safe        under which conditions and criteria the sys-
                      Unfortunately, the rate of new      and more effective alternative BWT options       tem should be tested and will enable them
        invasions appears to be increasing. For           that will replace BWE.”                          to prepare for the certification test when
        coastal marine ecosystems, the ballast water                                                       approved test facilities are available.
        of ships is known to be an important mech-        The challenges for equipment manufactur-
        anism for the transfer of non-native species,     ers up until now have been the lack of treat-    There has not been much available funding
        which are entrained unintentionally at one        ment standards and uniform and acceptable        for developing new and existing technolo-
        port and released at another. Environmental       testing protocols. Most of the test data         gies or for test facilities for BWT. The US are
        damages caused by transfer of unwanted            being presented are based on different pro-      leading the way and have conducted a num-
        organisms in ships’ ballast water are well        tocols that include different water qualities,   ber scientific tests and demonstration pro-
        understood and the IMO have developed             organisms and flow rates and cannot auto-        jects, and we now see the most number of
        and adopted a new law the International           matically be compared. They usually give         potential successful treatment solutions
        Convention for the Control and Manage-            the result of what the treatment system can      coming from the US. One of the largest pro-
        ment Of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments        achieve under the specific conditions the        jects is the Environmental Verification Tech-
        which is due for ratification. Individual         test was performed in, at the given time, and    nology program (ETV), a joint effort
        countries are also stepping up their actions      there has not been a controlled input of         between the US EPA and USCG, and they
        to prevent such transfers such as the US,         water quality and types and amount of            have developed a detailed test protocol and
        Australia and New Zealand. The impact on          organisms.                                       a facility for testing BWT systems at the
        port as well as shipping industry interests is    There are several projects that will give the    Naval Research Laboratory, Centre for Cor-
        increasing and will be high when the new          manufacturers a platform to work with. The       rosion Science & Engineering in Key West
        ballast water convention comes into force in      Ballast Water Working Group at MEPC,             Florida.
        2009. The transportation of ballast water         IMO is due to complete the “Guidelines for       The challenge for traditional water treat-
        cannot be stopped, but the transfer of harm-      Approval of Ballast Water Management Sys-        ment technologies is to adapt to the ship-
        ful aquatic organisms and pathogens can be        tems” and “Procedure for Approval of Bal-        board environment with its very high flow
        minimised by suitable treatment.                  last Water Management Systems that makes         and low-pressure pumps, limited space and
                                                                                                           harsh conditions such as vibrations, pitch-
        Today, two main options exists for the man-                                                        ing and rolling. These conditions and limi-
        agement of this problem:                                                                           tations create a high barrier for vendors to
           G Ballast water treatment (BWT);                                                                come up with practicable and workable
                                                               “Shipowners are very
           G Ballast water exchange (BWE).                                                                 solutions for the shipboard situation.
                                                             reluctant and restrictive                     There are a number of companies coming
        Onboard BWT implies an approved method                                                             up with technological solutions for onboard
        of treating the ballast water to remove the               in taking onboard                        treatment, and we can see some main
        environmental threat. Presently, there are no                                                      trends. Most of the treatment solutions that
                                                              new chemicals even in
        accepted standards/monitoring tools to eval-                                                       we have seen so far are based on a combi-
        uate and approve the BWT technologies.                     small amounts.”                         nation of technologies and a majority of the
                                                                                                           systems have a pre-filtration stage using a
        BWE implies an open sea exchange of bal-                                                           50-micron filter of different types; there are



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                                                                                                                                OptiMar Flow Diagram




        several filter companies that are actively       because of the continuing effect when the      is claiming to be competitive in the price of
        perusing this market, such as Boll & Kirsch      ballast water is discharged back into the      a treated ton.
        from Germany, Arkal and Amyad from               ocean. Generally, shipowners are very reluc-
        Israel.                                          tant and restrictive in taking onboard new     Vitamar Inc. of Memphis, TN has devel-
        Below we have listed a number of approach-       chemicals even in small amounts. Most          oped Seakleen® a formulation of mena-
        es with solutions and potential vendors rep-     operators have environmental programmes        dione (vitamin K3) a compound occurring
        resenting these.Active substances.               to reduce the numbers and amounts of           naturally in mammals, plants, bacteria and
                                                         chemicals onboard. Treatment systems           fungi. It is critical to the homeostasis (blood
                                                         that make use of active substances have to     clotting) of mammals including humans.
        Chemicals and biocides                           be approved through a special IMO process      Seakleen has proved to be effective in killing
                                                         regulated in the ballast water convention,     most organisms and requires very small
        Chemicals have the potential to kill all life    and must also comply with national stan-       doses to be effective. Seakleen is not corro-
        in the ballast water but there are several       dards and harbour authorities.                 sive and there are no special requirements
        political and environmental problems con-                                                       for handling.
        nected with the use of chemicals. Some           Degussa of Germany has developed a
        chemicals cause increased corrosion and          hydrogen peroxide solution called Perra-       Ecochlor, Inc. has a process using sulphuric
        require great care for storage and handling,     Clean Ocean. The PerraClean is effective in    acid generating chlorine dioxide and is
        and they may be regarded as a hazard to          killing organisms, but it involves handling    dosed into the ballast water. Chlorine diox-
        ships’ personnel. Chemicals may them-            large amounts of chemicals. We have little     ide has proved to be effective at killing
        selves be environmentally unacceptable           information on price, but the manufacturer     organisms, but the system is complex and



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        quite large, fitted into a 20-foot container.      tem onboard and can be operated from            stage ozone from dissolved oxygen and UV in
        Chlorine dioxide is considered to be corro-        three control positions. The OptiMar Bal-       a reactor with multiple UV lamps. At the 2nd
        sive and could create unfavourable corro-          last System has been designed with the pos-     stage they produce hydroxyl radicals, which
        sion in tanks and pipeline systems.                sibility of incorporating new technologies at   react with bacteria and viruses. The company
                                                           a later stage and is also prepared for injec-   claims it will meet the IMO 2-D require-
                                                           tion of inert gas, ozone, H2O2 etc. when,       ments. The Benrad system has been tested
        Heating                                            and if, IMO or other national and local         onboard one ship with 500-m3/h capacity.
                                                           authorities approve such technologies.
        Heating requires high-energy consumption
        and hot water will increase corrosion. Stud-       Hamman AG in Germany has developed a            Shipboard installations
        ies in Australia show there are various con-       solution consisting of its own filter, a bank
        siderations such as releasing hot water back       of small hydro cyclones 40m 3/h each            Installing retrofit systems on ships could
        to the environment, and that colder uptake         installed in parallel, and PerraClean Ocean     prove to be challenging for the system ven-
        water will drive the total energy needed to        from Degussa added in the last stage. This      dors. In many ships, and especially the
        achieve the desired treatment temperature.         system has been demonstrated but not            newer ones, the space for installation is lim-
                                                           installed on any ships. It has shown good       ited and in some ships totally absent. This
                                                           biological results but is rather complex,       applies not only to smaller ships, but also
        De-oxygenating                                     large and will create a relatively high-pres-   for larger ships. OptiMarin AS has delivered
                                                           sure loss. Hamman claims that the combi-        five retrofit and two new buildings that have
        There are several development projects on                                                          given valuable experience in installation on
        the de-oxygenation of ballast water. N.E.I in                                                      various types of ships.
        California injects nitrogen and has consid-
        ered using this together with an active bio-                                                       First, suitable sites for the heavy equipment
        cide like Seakleen.                                          “The transfer of                      must be selected, preferably as close to the
                                                                                                           ballast pump. The site must have sufficient
        OceanSaver in Norway uses a similar tech-                    harmful aquatic                       space for installation and service, be able to
        nique with filtration pretreatment and                                                             withstand vibrations and the heavy impact
                                                                      organisms and
        injecting steam heated nitrogen achieving                                                          during ship movements and to carry the full
        high cavitations as the main treatment.                     pathogens can be                       load during operation. Most retrofit systems
                                                                                                           will be installed in a loop in front of the
        The above-mentioned suppliers use inert gas                   minimised by                         pumps, and sometimes a tie-in into the bal-
        from a shipboard inert gas generator to purge                                                      last line can be difficult especially if the
        oxygen out of the water. As a result, the water           suitable treatment.”                     pipeline goes directly from the pump into a
        will become hypoxic (low oxygen content).                                                          bulkhead or double bottom. Routing
        So far we have not seen any full-scale ship-                                                       pipelines from the ballast line to the BWT
        board testing of any of these systems.                                                             system and return can create a relative high-
                                                           nation of hydro cyclone and filter allows       pressure loss if not properly sized and
                                                           operation of the system to be independent       drawn without too many bends and flow
        Combination technologies                           of the water quality (e.g. concentration of     restrictions. In one case our customer
                                                           solids, algae blooms), which confirms our       installed a smaller pipe diameter than rec-
        OptiMarin AS developed the OptiMar Bal-            experiences.                                    ommended and the flow reduction was
        last System, the first commercially available                                                      reduced by 50%. Selection of seawater resis-
        system for BWT. The system is based on                                                             tant materials is important. If black steel
        solids separation and UV irradiation using         Advanced oxidation                              pipe or badly galvanised pipes are used, cor-
        the MicroKill Separator and the MicroKill                                                          rosion in the pipes may cause malfunction
        UV, and is designed to operate under the           Marine Environmental Partners Inc, in           of the BWT system.
        challenging conditions on a seagoing vessel.       Florida USA has developed a solution con-
        The system has been installed aboard seven         sisting of 50 micron pre-filtration and a NI-   Some ship types use submerged ballast
        ships, the first system being installed aboard     OX generator, an electro-chemical process       pumps, which are installed in the double
        the cruise ship Regal Princess in May 2000.        (generating an active substance) during the     bottom and about midship. For these ships
        The next four deliveries were retrofit on two      discharge of ballast water. MEP has installed   it is almost impossible to connect any BWT
        cruise ships, one container vessel and one         this system on a Cruise vessel.                 systems to the submerged system. Over the
        tanker. The last two deliveries are for ro-ro                                                      years we have discussed several solutions
        vessels with ballast pump capacity of 1,000        Alfa Laval AB of Sweden co-operates with        with owners and seem to have found one
        m3/h. The OptiMar Ballast System is total-         Benrad AB, a company with an advanced oxi-      for new buildings. The work has to start at
        ly incorporated with the ballast control sys-      dation process based on generating in 1st       the design stage. So far we have not seen



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        any good solutions for retrofitting on exist-    be properly protected against harmonic dis-      The ballast water issue is getting increased
        ing ships with submerged pumps.                  tortion from electric generators, motors, etc.   interest from the shipping community; we
                                                         The selection of electronic parts is of high     see that shipowners are requesting systems
        There are several considerations for the         importance.                                      that can be installed as part of an approved
        installation of electronic equipment in          For the operation of a BWT, it is necessary      ballast water management plan. The mar-
        pump rooms or engine rooms, as there are         that officers and crew are motivated and         ket is responding now but we have so far
        vibrations, high humidity, salty air and high    understand the objective and importance of       not been able to test and submit systems
        temperatures. Salt water may penetrate           the BWT system. It is important to develop a     for type approval. We hope that IMO,
        cables and cause faulty alarms. External         general training programme that is adaptable     MEPC’s 53rd session will be able to come
        electronic noise and disturbance can cause       for the individual ship. Engineers should be     up with the guidelines so that vendors can
        continued alarms or completely block oper-       trained in calibration, adjustments, service     submit their system for approval to relevant
        ations. Electronic control systems have to       and maintenance and operation.                   Flag States.




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