EcoOne: The new revolutionary no-filter BWMS

After receiving the Type Approval from the Norwegian Maritime Authority for the IMO BWMS Code standards across its entire range of ballast water management systems (BWMS) back in August 2020, US manufacturer Ecochlor has recently announced the official launch of EcoOne, a no-filter ballast water management system.

EcoOne is considered to soon become an appealing options for ship operators who will require high pumping rates or for vessels conducting ballast operations in waters with high turbidity.

Image: ecochlor.com

By eliminating the filter, we have taken simplicity and reliability in ballasting operations to the maximum level. Whilst, at the same time, we have maintained the original Ecochlor® BWMS’ high performance and service that customers expect from us,” said VP of Business Development, Andrew Marshall.

How it works?

EcoOne method of treatment is chlorine dioxide (ClO2).

Chlorine dioxide is a disinfectant that when added to drinking water, it helps destroy bacteria, viruses and some types of parasites that such as Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the maximum concentration of chlorine dioxide in drinking water to be no greater than 0.8 parts per million (ppm).

Due to its natural propriety to decay, prior to discharging the treated ballast water has a minimum hold time of 24 hours and a test must be conducted to ensure the maximum allowable discharge concentration (MADC) of 0.2 mg/L ClO2 is not exceeded.

As per Ecochlor, while filters are usually required for systems that are based on ultraviolet or electro-chlorination technologies, chlorine dioxide reacts with living organism rather than solids suspended in the ballast water hence, filters are not considered necessary. By removing the filters from the installation is estimated to save a significant volume of space, piping, cabling and maintenance. It can also reduces costs by 25% compared with systems incorporating filters.

Image: ecochlor.com

The disadvantage comes for ships that will operate in waters with low salinity (freshwater). Due to the very low practical salinity unit (PSU <1) filtration will still be required as part of the system. Ecochlor will therefore offer a dual-mode system (hybrid) of EcoOne for the operators of such vessels. That system will be capable of operating on chlorine dioxide and filtration, or on chlorine dioxide alone. 

Image: ecochlor.com

The two versions of the new system, EcoOne, are likely to be available soon after IMO and US Coast Guard type approvals come through later this year, probably in quarters three and four respectively, the company said. As the type approval tests continue, the systems are being tried out in real life on board two vessels belonging to Greece’s Maran Tankers, the oil tanker operating division of the Angelicoussis Shipping Group. The systems are being tested on the Aframax vessel, Maran Atlas, and the VLCC, Maran Aries. Tests are expected to be completed by May 2021.

Steve Candito, CEO of EcoChlor, has implemented a number of new advances in the Company over the past few years including improving the efficiency of the manufacturing processes and the expansion of Ecochlor as a “Green Marine” platform in collaboration with other innovative maritime environmental business providers. He also revealed that the move to go filterless followed feedback from many customers.