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Indian Journal of Geo-Marine Sciences Vol. 43(11), November 2014, pp._____

Ballast Water Treatment Using Hydrodynamic Cavitation

Pratik P. Sangave, Anjan C. Mukherjee* and Aniruddha B. Pandit HyCa Technologies Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, India-400063

*[E-mail: anjan@hycator.com]

Received 07 March 2014; revised 10 October 2014

A novel physicochemical disinfection method based on hydrodynamic cavitation has been identified to disinfect ballast water. The phenomenon of hydrodynamic cavitation which is associated with the formation, growth and the collapse of microbubbles, leads to the generation of very high pressures and temperatures locally, which can cause cellular damage and makes microorganism nonviable. This paper explores the microbiocidal effectiveness of hydrodynamic cavitation coupled with in-situ generated chemicals from sea-water itself for the disinfection of ballast water with respect to the ballast water discharge standards of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Experiments performed in this study indicate that this method is a potential physicochemical ballast water disinfection technique. This advanced technology is eco-friendly as it does not use harmful external chemicals, UV or ultrasound, does not produce harmful by-products, and is energy efficient, economical, and can be scaled up for disinfection on very large scale. It is an alternative to current technologies and can be easily installed on vessels with minimum foot print area, as filtration and disinfection happen in a single compact unit.

[Keywords: Ballast; Disinfection; Hydrodynamic Cavitation; Clean Technology]

Introduction

Shipping is the backbone of global economy and facilitates transportation of 70% of the commodities. It is estimated that 6–7 billion tons of ballast water is carried around the world each year. Translocation of organisms through ships is considered to be one of the important issues that threaten the naturally evolved biodiversity, the consequences of which are being realized increasingly in the recent years1. The ballast water quality is of utmost importance today and the need for ballast water treatment has arisen from the requirements of regulation D-2 of the Ballast Water Management Convention to regulate discharges of ballast water and reduce the risk of introducing non- native species from ships’ ballast water2. Several chemical, physical and physicochemical treatment technologies have been developed for the disinfection of ballast water. However, their use is constrained by key factors such as space, cost, disinfection by-products and efficacy3.

Physical separation methods such as filtration and hydrocyclon are first choice of methods for the separation of micro-organisms in the range of 10-50 m. The efficiencies of such physical filtration have been >91%4. UV-irradiation, ultrasonication, de- oxygenation, heat treatment etc. have been considered as the simplest methods of ballast water disinfection and have shown their effectiveness up to 95%. In comparison with the capital and operating cost, the effectiveness of these methods

are much lower and therefore are not considered as prominent methods of ballast water disinfection at a commercial level5. In contrast to physical methods, chemical disinfection methods appear to be better choice in terms of capital costs, power requirements and footprint. Two general types of biocides i.e. oxidizing and non-oxidizing are broadly used for the ballast water treatment. The effectiveness of chemicals is attributed to their fundamental actions: alteration of cell permeability/colloidal nature of protoplasm/organism DNA or RNA, cell wall damage and inhibition of enzyme activity6. The production, storage and use of chemicals raise questions regarding long-term harm to the environment and personnel. Firstly, disinfection by- products (DBPs) such as trihalomethanes (THMs) could cause environmental and health harm, as in the case of chlorine, chlorine-di-oxide and ozone. Apprehensions about accumulation of mutagenic and carcinogenic chemicals as also effects on the aquatic webs have been expressed in NRC Report7. Therefore, there should be a method that combines merits of both physical and chemical methods and remove respective disadvantages.

A physicochemical method like hydrodynamic cavitation coupled with chemical disinfectant could be the choice of ballast water treatment due to its disinfections efficiency and environmental safety. The phenomenon of hydrodynamic cavitation is associated with the formation, growth and the collapse of micro bubbles/ cavities leading to the

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