What is ballast water

Ballast water provides stability and manoeuvrability to a ship. Usually ballast water is pumped into tanks when a ship has delivered cargo to a port and is departing with less or no cargo. Large ships can carry millions of liters of ballast water.

Annually an estimated 12 billion tons of ballast water is transported around the world by sea-going vessels. This ballast water is loaded in ports, rivers and seas and discharged elsewhere in the world. With the ballast water sediment and a large variety of organisms are taken in and discharged in places where they may not have natural enemies. This includes flora, fauna, bacteria and infectious organisms. These organisms can cause great damage to the environment, health and economy which is seen as one of the greatest environmental challenges of maritime shipping. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has developed regulation in 2004 to address this issue and requires all ships to purify ballast water before discharging it.

IPStar is carrying out a feasibility study looking into the technical and economical parameters to apply advanced grey water treatment technology developed by MELiSSA for the treatment of ballast water on board ships. The objective is to develop a prototype and license the technology to an industrial partner.