Transport of Hydrogen Gas to a Ballast Tank

The Problem

Invasive marine species are one of the four greatest threats to the world’s oceans, the impact of which is generally irreversible. The diverse range of organisms that ship’s carry in their ballast water remains the biggest pollution challenge facing the shipping industry today since there are thousands of marine species small enough to pass through ships’ ballast water intake and pumps. These include bacteria and other microbes, small invertebrates and the eggs, cysts and larvae of various species.

The Approach

To address this problem, an Electrolytic Disinfection unit along with other treatments was proposed. A by-product of the process is Hydrogen Gas which can be explosive in certain concentrations and is removed to a large extent by a specially designed high efficiency 2 phase separator. To assess the minimum theoretical efficiency required to ensure that these explosive concentrations could never be reached a mathematical model of the process was constructed.

The Result

The high efficiency 2 phase separator was designed to exceed the minimum theoretical efficiency by a sufficient margin to ensure safe operation. This resulted in the client passing all stages of the Type Approval process whilst also being fully compliant with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Ballast Water performance standards and the International Convention for the Control & Management of Ships Ballast Water & Sediments.