Envirocleanse aims for USCG before IMO approval

The in-Tank system showing electrochlorination generator, bulk chemical assembly plant and dosing module The in-Tank system showing electrochlorination generator, bulk chemical assembly plant and dosing module

An in-tank chlorination ballast water treatment is set to become the first system to receive type approval from the US Coast Guard (USCG) before applying for IMO certification.

Envirocleanse, the US manufacturer of the in-Tank system, has completed testing for USCG approval and expects to submit a final application in the first quarter of the year. The Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary will submit an application for IMO type approval ahead of a future meeting of the organisation’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC).

Matt Hughes, executive vice president sales and marketing, Envirocleanse, told The Motorship: “In many ways the IMO is trickier to get. The G9 requirements force makers to submit testing data for toxicity and disinfection by-products if their system uses an active substance. And the new G8 testing requirements forces makers to test for regrowth after 5 days. The USCG has neither of these requirements. Also, since we must wait on MEPC meetings, it takes longer.”

The filter-free system relies purely on either side-stream electrolysis or chemical injection to kill organisms to the required discharge standard. As the dosing does not occur at intake or discharge, it does not interfere with ballasting operations. The system uses a dispersal mechanism patented by the US Geological Survey, and requires a minimum holding time of 24 hours after dosing.

Electrolysis-based systems have traditionally been challenged by cold or low-salinity water. The in-Tank treatment’s hypochloride generator can operate at temperatures in the range of 0-45°C, and at salinities higher than 5g/kg. As treatment does not take place at port, operators can take on saline water when underway, or store it in a dedicated tank. The chorine injection option is unaffected by salinity or temperature.

Jan van Overloop of Marship Engineering, a distributor of in-Tank BWMS, noted: “Many treatment systems have a ‘one-shot to kill’ philosophy [treating water on uptake]. So I would not be overly confident that my ballast tanks would meet the discharge standards after a 14-day voyage. A system that takes that away from a ship’s port call and treats the tanks whilst in transit has some very compelling operational advantages.”

As the process is decoupled from intake and discharge, the in-Tank is not limited by flow rate and is therefore suitable for vessels with large ballast tanks including bulk carriers and tankers. The flexibility to begin dosing during a voyage also means it is suited to vessels that do not de-ballast from a fixed location, including heavy lifters, naval ships and vessels with gravity discharge tanks.

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