Ballast Water Treatment Technologies

Invasive aquatic species present a major threat to the marine ecosystems, and shipping has been identified as a major pathway for introducing species to new environments. The problem increased as trade and traffic volume expanded over the last few decades, and in particular with the introduction of steel hulls, allowing vessels to use water instead of solid materials as ballast. The effects of the introduction of new species have in many areas of the world been devastating.

A Ballast Water Treatment System (BWTS) is a system designed to remove and destroy/inactive biological organisms (zooplankton, algae, bacteria) from ballast water.

A wide variety of technologies are available in the market for treating ballast water on ships but, in general, they can be classified into two groups:

1.- Separation Technologies

2.-Disinfection Technologies

Separation Technologies

Organisms are separated from ballast water through natural physical differences in organisms or through chemically “induced” differences (i.e., coagulation, flocculation).
     -Different types of filters: Screen, disk, drum, stacked disk, stacked and mesh.
     -Hydrocyclone: uses centrifugal force for removal of organisms.

Disinfection Technologies

Disinfection removes or alter organisms such that they cannot reproduce or are no longer viable.
     -Ultraviolet Treatment
     -Cavitation or Ultrasonic Treatment
     -Electric Pulse / Plasma Treatment

More info: How Ballast Water Treatment System Works?