PML Applications was contracted by an ‘oil major’ to gain an understanding of the expected performance of the filters they were considering for their ballast water treatment systems (also referred to as BWTS).
The company operates ships which take on large quantities of sea water as ballast whilst unloading cargo in port. Understanding the environment in which ships operate is crucial for the efficient operation of ballast water treatment systems, as some tidal ports have very high suspended sediment levels present in their waters which vary significantly with time and depth. Sediment also poses a significant problem for ship operators as it collects in ballast tanks and requires regular, costly, removal.
There is also concern that ballast water treatment systems may slow ballasting and lengthen costly time in port because of filter back-flushing and/or filter clogging. In particular, this company wanted to understand how the measured port conditions (salinity, suspended sediment concentration and particle size distribution) compared to the test conditions encountered by any ballast water treatment systems being considered during the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) G-8 approval process.