Venturi Oxygen Stripping system was invented by NEI Treatment Systems (Los Angeles, USA) specifically to address the ballast water issue. This technology, after years of research and development, has recently been proven in shipboard trials to meet the IMO Ballast Water Performance Standard. The system works reliably, handling large volumes of ballast water flow irrespective of sediment and organic load, or salinity, or temperature. And, since itís a deoxygenation method it reduces ballast tank corrosion, which can provide substantial savings over the life of a vessel.
Venturi Oxygen Stripping is a deoxygenation technology that rapidly removes 95 percent ofdissolved oxygen from ballast water. This is accomplished by mixing very-low-oxygen inert gasthrough a parallel network of venturi injectors into the ballast piping as ballast is drawn into thevessel. Aquatic organisms cannot survive in these conditions. In addition, since the oxygen isremoved, corrosion of ballast tank steel is virtually arrested. Upon discharge the processreverses itself. The water rapidly re-aerates. The system has very few moving parts and is easilyintegrated into a vesselís existing ballast control system. There are no hazardous chemicals tocarry on-board, and there are no toxic by-products in the discharged ballast water. The systemhas no upper limit to flow rate capacity, making it useful for a wide variety of vessel types.
The first shipboard system operates at 1,000 cubic meters per hour and is installed on anactively trading 40,000 dwt US-flagged bulk carrier owned by TECO Ocean Shipping operating in the US Gulf and East Coast. While the shipboard testing is ongoing the feedback from the shipping industry indicates that NEIís system will be one of the most attractive ballast water treatment alternatives for ship owners. Venturi Oxygen Stripping TM was the winner of Intertankoís 2004 Environmental Challenge, an award for a technology that benefits the shipping industry as well as the environment.