Combined Centrifugal Separator/Membrane Ultrafiltration System for Shipboard Treatment of Bilge and Ballast Water
Small Business Information
1360 Willow Road, Suite 103, Menlo Park, CA, 94025
AbstractShips generate large volumes of bilge and ballast water that contain high concentrations of emulsified and free-phase oil as well as suspended solids. To meet new environmental regulations, this water will require treatment to reduce the oil content to less than 15 ppm before overboard discharge. Treatment by ultrafiltration can produce dischargeable water, but currently available membranes are subject to severe fouling by oil and particulates. The objective of this project is to develop a bilge water treatment process by combining a centrifugal separator pretreatment step to remove solids and large oil droplets, and a novel, fouling-resistant composite ultrafiltration membrane-polishing step to remove the remaining emulsified and dissolved oil and produce dischargeable water that meets the new regulations. In Phase I, Membrane Technology and Research, Inc., demonstrated the technical feasibility of the process. The system removed all of the free-phase oil and some of the dissolved organic compounds from the waste stream to produce dischargeable water. Fouling resistance of the new membrane was considerably better than that of commercial ultrafiltration membranes. An economic analysis showed that the capital and operating costs of the process are substantially lower than alternatives. Discussions were held with potential partners for Phase II field tests and Phase III commercialization activities.
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