The US Patent Office has awarded Siemens Water Technologies a patent for a system and method to control biofouling of filters used as a first stage of treating ballast water in its SeaCure Ballast Water Management System.
The patent, titled Method and System for Biofouling Control of Shipboard Components (US patent no. 8,591,740 B2), involves injection of biocide into ballast seawater before it reaches the large surface filter intakes to reduce the growth of marine organisms that can clog the filters.
The technology is already incorporated in the SeaCure system that uses a combination of physical separation and a proprietary, on-demand treatment with biocides, produced in-situ from seawater, without the addition of chemicals.
The SeaCure system employs filters to remove or break larger organisms using a 40-micron weave-wire screen and provides reliable, nonstop operation at high sediment loads while minimizing backwash flow, Siemens says. In addition to treating ballast water, the SeaCURE system can be used for treating onboard cooling water circuits.
The SeaCURE system is designed to comply with International Maritime Organization (IMO) Convention D-2 regulations for ballast water management and received IMO final approval in 2012.
Analysis released this week by Frost & Sullivan forecasts revenues for the global ballast water treatment system market will skyrocket from $466.6 million in 2013 to $3.14 billion by 2023 as shipowners face a string of impending ballast water regulations.