Today, more than an estimated ten billion tons of ballast water are in transit on board of ships on the world’s oceans at all times. Including the microorganisms and living beings that as “stowaways” easily overcome the normally insurmountable barriers of the oceans.
The International Maritime Organization IMO has established clear rules that govern how ballast water has to be treated to avoid this hazard for the aquatic ecosystems worldwide. By 2016 at the latest (provided that the agreement has been ratified) a directive will come into force for all ships stipulating that ballast water may only be dropped off at ports if it conforms to certain organism limit values (D2 standard).
For treating ballast water on board ships, GEA Westfalia Separator Group and Aquaworks have thus developed a system which is approved by the IMO. The system, which is brought to the market by GEA Westfalia Separator, is named the BallastMasterultraV. The system guarantees through filtration and UV-C treatment a high degree of safety when removing and disinfecting organisms (for example Phytoplankton, Zooplankton, bacteria, viruses, fish larvae etc.) and sediments in the ballast water; it operates with high efficient use of energy and low operating costs, needs no chemicals at all, and is suitable for installation in new-build ships and in particular for retrofitting in existing vessels.
BallastMasterultraV succeeded its final phase of the type approval certification process required by IMO and national authorities and was available on the market from the beginning of 2012. The BallastMasterultraV UV-C-based treatment system is a highly efficient mechanical/physical system solution for treating ballast water even with a high concentration of organisms, sediments and particles. The 2-stage system works with mechanical pre-filtration and subsequent disinfecting of the ballast water by UV-C without the use or generation of chemicals.
UVC for disinfection and ultrasound for cleaning of quartz sleeves are especially acknowledged in portable and waste water management to produce no disinfection by-products by themselves. These technologies have been identified as the most environmentally friendly and effective methods for ballast water treatment.
For water disinfection two different UV techniques are widely used differing in their UV emission spectra. Middle Pressure UV (MPUV) lamps emit radiation over a broad range of UV and visible light. Low Pressure UV (LPUV) lamps used in the BallastMasterultraV ballast water treatment system (BWTS) emit monochromatic radiation at the specific wave length of 254 nm (UV254nm) to specifically take advantage of the DNA damaging effect, and avoid the formation of potential by-products. In contrast to MPUV technology the possibility of the formation of chemical by-products increases. The use of UV for water disinfection and treatment (including ballast water treatment) is considered a purely physical process without by-products.
The BallastMasterultraV BWTS will be installed in line behind the ships ballast water pumps with a by-pass pathway. The BallastMasterultraVBWTS comprises mechanical filtration with a self-cleaning suction process as the pre-treatment step. The after-treatment consists of low-pressure ultraviolet-C (LPUV-C) radiation in combination with ultrasound for self-cleaning of UV-C sleeves. Due to the highly efficient combination of ultrasound (US) oscillation for cleaning and UV radiation for disinfection the BallastMasterultraV technology can dispense with any preparations or chemical additives, which may pose a hazard to the population and / or to the environment.
The whole installation is completely automated, controlled by remote signals in automatic mode. All parts of the installation are specially developed for low and easy operation and maintenance expense. The BallastMasterultraV BWTS fully complies with the D-2 standard for land and ship board tests and well beyond this standard. Based on analytic results and risk assessment it can be concluded that the precisely adjusted ultrasound and ultraviolet technology risks to human health and to the environment can be demonstrably excluded. All ships in service on our oceans will have to retrofit a ballast water treatment system as soon as the IMO directive comes into force. The ballastMasterultraV is ideally suited for this.
Advantages of the BallastMasterultraV technology
• Radical abandonment of any chemicals and avoidance of reactive intermediates, confirmed by extensive chemical analysis and ecotoxicological studies of treated water
• Filter technology is able to separate extreme effective organisms, particles and sediments with 20 µm sinter filter modules and patented suction cleaning technology
• High disinfection performance with monochromatic low pressure UV-C254 nm radiation.
• Applied and patented low-frequency ultrasound provides a high cleaning performance of the quartz sleeves
• During de-ballast operations the ballast water will be treated by a unique and patented technology: the water from the ships tank will be filtrated and disinfected by ultraviolet radiation, whereby the UVC process completely disinfect filter concentrate and filtered water
• Because of consequent absence of any chemicals, cavitation effects on the ships’ piping and tank system are not present
• High efficiency of UV-C against special chemical resistant pathogens since resistance against UV cannot be acquired by (micro-) organisms
• Physical parameters of the ballast water (e.g. salinity, pH) remain unaffected by UV-C
• Low operation and maintenance effort, and easy operation
• Because system consist of small single modules, the BallastMasterultraV BWTS is especially and proved suitable for retrofitting of existing ships
Source: GEA, June 19, 2012