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Ballast Water Treatment Technology: Methods, Technologies, and Obstacles. Midwest/Great Lakes Forum December 4, 2009 Chicago, IL. Ross Kanzleiter Marine Environmental Associates. Presentation Overview. Background International, National, and Great Lakes Regulations Ballast Water Exchange

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Ballast Water Treatment Technology:

Methods, Technologies, and Obstacles

Midwest/Great Lakes Forum

December 4, 2009

Chicago, IL

Ross Kanzleiter

Marine Environmental Associates


Presentation Overview


International, National, and Great Lakes Regulations

Ballast Water Exchange

Ballast Water Treatment & Technologies

Technology Approval

Current Status of Ballast Water Technologies

Treatment Obstacles



  • Ballast Water
  • - For trim & stability
  • - Includes: water, stones, sediment, living organisms
  • Amount
  • - 12 billion tons transported annually
  • - Ships can carry 100,000 to 10,000,000 gallons
  • Impact
  • - Over 7,000+ marine species transported daily
  • - Every 9 weeks a species is introduced in the world
  • - 160+ non-native species have entered Great Lakes
  • - $5 billion estimated economic impact of Zebra
  • mussels over the next decade



IMO Convention

    • International Convention for the Control of Ship Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004
    • Regulation D-1 sets exchange standards
    • Regulation D-2 sets discharge standards for treatment
    • The convention will enter into force 12 months after at least 30 States, the combined merchant fleets of which constitute at least 35% of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant shipping have ratified the Convention.
  • As of October 2009, there are 18 signatories (ratifications) to the Convention, representing 15.36% worlds shipping gross tonnage.
  • - Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Egypt, France, Kenya, Kiribati, Liberia, Maldives, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic , Tuvalu
  • Driving factor for ballast water treatment technologies


Treatment Discharge Standards

USCG Phase 1

USCG Phase 2

USCG: <1 / 100 m3


Implementation – IMO


Implementation – Proposed USCG


Great Lakes Ballast Water Regulations

  • Great Lakes – National Invasive Species Act → USCG proposed rulemaking
          • Clean Water Act → NPDES Vessel General Permit (VGP)
          • Canada Shipping Act → IMO D-2
          • Best Management Practices for U.S., Canada, and Industry
          • St. Lawrence Seaway’s NOBOB requirement → Salinity>30 ppt
          • Ballast Water Reporting Form 24 hrs prior to Seaway, Canadian Waters & U.S. Waters
  • Michigan – Oceangoing vessels must obtain certificates of coverage (COC), MDEQ permit MIG140000
  • – Treatments: Hypochorite, ClO2, UV+Filter, Deoxygenation
  • Minnesota – State Disposal Permit, MPCA permit MNG300000
  • – Best Management Practices, and Biological Treatment Standards (IMO)
  • New York – Existing vessels meet 100x IMO size class standards by 2012
  • – Vessels built after Jan. 2013: 0 > 50 μm, 0.01/ml for 10-50 μm


Great Lakes Requirements Continued

  • Wisconsin – Proposed Draft Ballast Water Permit
  • – Existing oceangoing vessels must meet 100x IMO by 2012 if technology is available, otherwise IMO standards apply
  • – New oceangoing vessels built after Jan. 2013, 1000x IMO
  • Indiana – Existing oceangoing vessels must meet IMO standards by January 1, 2016
  • – New oceangoing vessels built after January 1, 2012 → IMO
  • Ohio – Standards similar to Indiana
  • – Lakers launched after January 2016 must meet IMO
  • Illinois – IMO standards
  • Pennsylvania – Existing oceangoing vessels and lakers must meet IMO standards by January 1, 2016
  • – New oceangoing vessels and lakers built after January 1, 2012 must meet more stringent standards (similar to NY)


Ballast Water Exchange

    • Must achieve an efficiency of at least 95% volumetric exchange
    • Accomplished by either emptying and refilling tanks sequentially or,
    • Pumping through three times the volume of each ballast water tank
  • - Pumping through less than three times the volume may be accepted, provided the ship can demonstrate at least 95% volume exchange occur.
  • Must be 200 nm from the nearest land, in water at least 200 m deep

Ballast Water Exchange Example: Ship leaves a port in the Indian Ocean, discharges cargo in the Mediterranean and takes up ballast water. Ballast water exchange occurs in the Atlantic prior to the ship entering the Great Lakes to pick up cargo.

*Corrina Chase, Christine Reilly, and Judith Pederson, Ph.D., “Marine Bioinvasions Fact Sheet: Ballast Water Treatment Options,” Sea Grant.



Safety Issues

Exchange Limitations

  • Can not entirely remove sediments and residual water from tank bottoms
  • Organisms on tank walls and structural supports remain
  • Coastal vessels/trades that don’t travel 200 nm from shore, approx. 9%
  • Sloshing Loads
  • Bending Moments
  • Sheer Forces
  • Stability Margins
  • Weather Window
  • Torsional Stresses
  • Tank Venting
  • Draft
  • Propeller Immersion
  • Crew Safety


Ballast Water Treatment Necessities

  • Safe (for ship and crew)
  • Environmentally Acceptable
  • Effective
  • Affordable
  • Approved
  • Available


Treatment Considerations

    • Ship Type
    • Ballast Capacity
  • Space Required (footprint & volume)
  • Treatment System Location
  • Integration with Ship Systems
  • Certified Intrinsically Safe
  • Power Availability
  • Health and Safety
  • System Availability
  • Additional Crew Workload
  • Capital and Operating Expenses
  • Effects on Tank Structure/Coatings
  • Availability of Consumables, Spares and Support


Ballast Water Treatment Technologies


  • Active Substance
  • Chlorination
  • Electro-chlorination
  • Chlorine Dioxide
  • Ozonation
  • Peracetic Acid
  • Vitamin K
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Advanced Oxidation Technology (UV+TiO2)
  • Residual Control
  • Dechlorination
  • Chemical Reduction
  • Sodium Bisulfite
  • Sodium Thiosulfate

Physical Separation

  • Treatment
  • Hydrocyclone
  • Surface Filtration
  • Depth Filtration
  • Physical Treatment
  • UV Irradiation
  • Deoxygenation
  • Gas Injection
  • Ultrasonic
  • Cavitation
  • Heat
  • Physical Assistance
  • Ultrasonic
  • Cavitation
  • Chemical Enhancement
  • Coagulation/ Flocculation


Physical Separation - Hydrocyclone

  • Hydrocyclone - Centrifugal force assists gravity to remove organisms based on density
  • - Vortex moves more dense organisms/sediments to the outwards for removal
  • Separation efficiency dependent on organism density, size, speed of rotation (vortex), and residence time under rotation
  • Requires disinfection treatment due to organisms with densities similar to water

*Hamann Hydrocyclone as part of the SEDNA treatment system

*Ecologix Environmental Systems Hydrocyclone Separator


Physical Separation - Filtration

  • Surface Filtration - Porous screens, wound wire, mesh
  • - Filter efficiency dependent on mesh size, flow rate, operating pressure and backwashing frequency
  • Typically range in size from 30 to 50 µm
  • Organisms removed via automatic backwash, accounting for 1-5% ballast flow
  • Depth Filtration - Porous filtration medium to retain particles throughout the filter
  • Sand, gravel, fluidized bed, etc.
  • Generally not feasible for shipboard operations
  • 1 treatment system employs a stacked-disk depth filter with auto-backwash

*BSFC The Ballast Safe Filtration Company, Surface Filter

*Hyde Marine Ballast Water Treatment System, Depth Filter + UV


Chemical Treatment – Active Substances

    • Majority of chemical treatments are biocides
    • Classified as oxidizing and non-oxidizing
  • Stored on a vessel as a gas or liquid, or generated on demand
    • Some technologies use coagulants to increase physical separation efficiency
    • Chemical treatments typically applied during ballast uptake
    • May also be applied during vessel transit and/or discharge
    • Discharge treatment typically applied to remove/reduce residuals
    • Majority of technologies ensure a residual is present to prevent regrowth
    • As the residual degrades over time, in-transit treatment may be applied
    • Or initial treatment applied so the ship arrival coincides with full residual degradation
    • Can not impact receiving waters upon discharge (residual, DBPs, etc.)
    • Must be intrinsically safe in addition to fail safe operations
    • Physical separation is typically applied as a pretreatment to reduce organic content and sediment loading


Chemical Treatment – Oxidizing Biocides

  • Oxidizing technologies chemically break organic bonds to cause mortality
  • Examples of oxidizing agents employed for ballast water treatment:
  • Chlorine
  • Chlorine Dioxide
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Ozone
  • Peracetic Acid
  • Discharge treatment to remove/reduce residuals typically includes:
  • Sodium Bisulfite or Sodium Thiosulfate
  • Or initial treatment applied so the ship arrival coincides with full residual degradation
  • Electrochlorination is an indirect method of chemical treatment
  • Electrical current applied to water to create hydroxyl radicals, ozone, and sodium hypochorite
  • Electrochlorination systems do not require stored chemicals
  • On-demand technology but requires a minimum level of salt in the water


Chemical Treatment – Oxidizing Biocides

*Siemens Water Technologies SiCure, Electrochlorination Ballast Water Treatment System

*Severn Trent Services BalPure, Electrochlorination Ballast Water Treatment System

*EcoChlor Ballast Water treatment System, Chlorine Dioxide


Chemical Treatments – Others

  • Non-Oxidizing Biocides
  • Operate similar to pesticides by destroying, suppressing or altering the life cycle of aquatic organisms
  • Examples applied to ballast water: gluteraldehyde and Vitamin K (menadione)
  • Advantages include non-oxidizing, noncorrosive, available, and natural
  • Coagulants
  • Added to improve physical separation efficiency
  • Typically require large holding tank and long retention time to be effective
  • Primary coagulants include alum and/or iron salts
  • Coagulation aids are typically a high density inorganic power (magnetite, sand, etc.)
  • Few technologies employ this treatment
  • Biological Treatment
  • Involve the addition of live organisms, such as bacteria or yeast, and/or viruses that function to directly eradicate or produce deadly environmental conditions
  • Considered an active substance by the IMO Convention
  • Any organisms added for treatment must be killed/inactivated prior to discharge
  • Some biological treatments under development, but have limited potential


Physical Treatment

  • Cavitation and Ultrasonic Treatment
  • Operate by abruptly disturbing organisms through the collapse of microbubbles
  • Disruption intended to inflict a mortal impact on an organisms surface
  • Typically generated via hydrodynamic means or high frequency vibration
  • Often implemented in conjunction with other treatments for improved mortality
  • Heat
  • Application of sufficient heat to ballast water to render all organisms inactive
  • Several heat treatments have been proposed/designed but not implemented
  • Modern merchant vessels are very efficient with insufficient waste heat for treatment

Heat Treatment Example: 1) Sea water pumped in to flush ballast tanks, 2) The sea water is heated (darker shade) by freshwater used to cool the ship’s engines, 3) The heated sea water is pumped into the ballast tanks, 4) The treated ballast water is discharged overboard.

*Corrina Chase, Christine Reilly, and Judith Pederson, Ph.D., “Marine Bioinvasions Fact Sheet: Ballast Water Treatment Options,” Sea Grant


Physical Treatment - Deoxygenation

  • Inert gas applied to displace/strip oxygen from ballast water
  • After a sufficient length of time under anoxic conditions, biological concentrations are reduced to acceptable discharge concentrations from asphyxiation
  • Typically takes 1 to 4 days to reach acceptable discharge standards
  • Upon discharge, ballast water is reaerated as applicable
  • Inert gases employed include nitrogen and carbon dioxide that may be stored or created onboard on-demand
  • The addition of carbon dioxide creates carbonic and carboxylic acid, slightly decreasing pH
  • A major advantage includes significantly reduced tank corrosion (no oxygen)

*Mitsubishi VOS Ballast Water Treatment System, Carbon Dioxide Deoxygenation


Physical Treatment – UV Irradiation

  • Kills or inactivates wide range or organisms by damaging genetic material and proteins
  • Well established treatment method for municipal and industrial water applications
  • Requires good UV light transmission, i.e. clarity and turbidity
  • Advanced oxidation technologies are chemical treatments including ozone, hydrogen peroxide and reagents (titanium dioxide) that substantially increase the oxidation potential and mortality when combined with UV (Note, AOT are considered an Active Substance by IMO)
  • UV is insufficient without additional treatment steps to meet acceptable discharge standards
  • Proven technology that is widely employed for ballast water treatment

*Alfa Laval’s PureBallast, Advanced Oxidation Technology UV + Titanium Dioxide


Combination Treatments

  • Vast majority of technologies employ multiple treatment methods to achieve acceptable discharge levels
  • Prime Example = UV Irradiation & Filtration
  • Alone, either method is unable to produce the desired results
  • Combined, these combination technologies have proven successful
  • Most treatment systems employ physical separation prior to disinfection


Approval Requirements

    • Basic Approval (G8):
    • - All treatment systems are required to be approved in accordance with IMO Resolution MEPC.174(58), Guidelines for Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems (G8)
    • Final Approval (G9):
    • - All treatments that use or produce an “Active Substance” must also be approved in accordance with IMO Resolution MEPC.169(57), Procedures for Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems That Make Use of Active Substances (G9)
  • The IMO will provide Basic and Final Approval to G9
  • Flag States will provide Type Approval ballast water technologies
  • Type Approval is the final step


IMO Approval Process


*As of December 4th ,2009

Current Technology Status

  • 8 Active Substance systems with Final Approval (G8 & G9)
  • 8 Active Substance systems that have Basic Approval (G8) and require Final Approval (G9)
  • 2 non-Active Substance systems have Basic Approval (G8) and are Type Approved
  • 30+ treatment systems are under development or available


Technologies Available

*As of December 4th ,2009

  • 7 technologies have received Type Approval
  • 3 additional technologies awaiting Type Approval

* IMO Basic and Final Approval ≠ Type Approval Certification


Treatment Obstacles

    • Variable ballast water conditions: salinity, temperature, organisms
  • IMO Basic and Final Approval
  • - Insufficient resources for land-based evaluations of technologies
    • Type Approval
    • - Few Flag States are approving treatment systems
  • Acceptance of Type Approved technologies in countries such as Liberia
  • Inconsistent Regulations Globally, Nationally, and Regionally
  • Shipboard sampling post treatment system installation
  • Compliance monitoring
  • Enforcement and penalties
  • Insurance and Liability
  • Treatment system, parts, and services availability
  • No singular technology is effective on all types of vessels and trades


Ross A. Kanzleiter

Illuminating Environmental Solutions

from Ship to Shore