Pasteurization for Ballast Water Treatment: What Is It?

Pasteurization is an emerging technology in ballast water management systems that is quickly becoming the preferred treatment mode. It vastly reduces the potential hazards to both the crew and the environment and is largely environmentally-friendly.

Pasteurization is widely known in the food and pharmaceutical industry and is now poised to bring important changes as a BWMS solution to the maritime industry. It paves the way for simplified and energy-efficient solutions that will benefit ship owners and operators on the vessel. 

Within the pasteurization process, the media to be treated is heated to an elevated temperature and maintained for a given time until all viable organisms are eliminated. No further treatment, filtering or holding time is needed. The media flows continuously throughout the whole treatment process.

The simplified water treatment methodology is optimal for a one-pass treatment system as opposed to the traditional in-line two-step treatment in most BWMS. Treating the ballast water in-voyage optimises energy usage as the onboard waste energy from engines is utilized. 

As the ballast water only needs one pass through the BWMS to fulfill the USCG and IMO outlet criteria, multiple treatment modes in the same installation are possible:

  • Ballasting in-line treatment
  • De-ballasting in-line treatment
  • Tank-to-tank treatment

All of which greatly simplifies the process and the components needed, without compromising on quality. The consumption of spare parts are kept minimal (no filters), the Bawat treatment system is independent of salinity and turbidity and temperature, and it is straightforward for the crew to operate.

Pasteurization & Its Origins

USCG has approved pasteurization in 2020 as a viable method to perform Ballast water treatment under Danish company, Bawat A/S. This innovation has become one of the key exciting new players in the BWMS market.

Pasteurization was first used in 1864 by Louis Pasteur to prevent the microbial spoilage of wine. 

The process of heating a liquid below the boiling point destroys microorganisms. Commercial pasteurization of milk began in the late 1800s in Europe and in the early 1900s in the United States as one of the key ways to process milk for modern consumer markets.

We are now at the cusp of seeing exciting developments in pasteurization technology being re-adapted to the marine industry.

This article is bought to you by Giantech Engineering. Click here to find out more about Ballast Water Treatment Systems.

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