In the maritime sector, marine bio-fouling (Figure 1) or buildup of marine organisms on heat-exchangers for cooling systems represents a significant challenge and carries a huge economical and environmental impact. Globally, the cost of bio-fouling is pegged at tens of billions of Euros each year. This marine growth, which is often blue mussels, thrives on pipes and heat exchangers that are in constant contact with seawater.
Figure 1. Marine bio-fouling
A recent pilot study on how to control buildup of marine organisms on heat exchangers of marine vessels revealed that applying ozone to the heat exchanger is not only effective at reducing organism buildup, but also sustainable. Bio-fouling has a significant impact on vessel safety, since it reduces the cooling system’s capacity; it also impacts the protection of unique marine environments across the globe.
Ozone-based Bio-fouling Prevention System
Norwegian water treatment company, Normex, has developed a unique ozone-based bio-fouling prevention system for marine vessels. During the tests, the company validated the system’s performance in preventing accumulation of marine organisms on the heat exchanger and the inlets to the sea chest at variable ozone doses. During the validation process, the formation of bromates was also monitored.
Ozone: A Sustainable Solution
This validation protocol showed that ozone has successfully removed the existing organic growth and kept the entire system i.e. heat exchangers, piping and sea chests clear from blue mussels. Thus, a constant low ozone level provides a sustainable solution both economically and environmentally. The bromated level produced under ozonation was 300 times less than what is believed to be dangerous to aquatic life. Moreover, at these levels of ozone dosage, no excess ozone was detected in the cooling system.
Ozone has a proven success rate for removing marine organisms and provides a positive economic impact. This gas can be produced on-site, requires no chemicals, and is environmentally friendly.
The BioFoulControl project, funded by EU’s FP7 and initiated by the coordinator, Normex AS (Norway), aims to develop an advanced ozone-based bio-fouling prevention system for heat exchangers in marine seawater coolers.
Primozone SM100 is a complete, portable ozone system that is specifically designed for pilot testing and includes a compressor, oxygen generator, and ozone generator. The system can also be used for other applications such as marine cooling systems, aquaculture, offshore rigs, desalination plants, and power plants.
Ozone offers a sustainable solution and can be effectively used to control and prevent bio-fouling on marine vessels both economically and environmentally.
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Primozone.
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