Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

UV-Mon — Result In Brief

Project ID: 286572
Funded under: FP7-SME
Country: United Kingdom

Combatting stow-away invasive species

Treatment methods based on ultraviolet (UV) light for sterilising ballast water are costly. EU-funded scientists unveiled a novel system using UV as a component to optimise the dose required to completely eliminate invasive species.
Untreated ballast water is the fourth largest threat to the global environment, and oceans around Alaska, Antarctica, the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea are particularly vulnerable. For this reason, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted a convention requiring that merchant vessels introduce a system for handling and purifying ballast water by 2016. As part of a ballast water treatment (BWT) system, UV radiation seems to be the most viable option for minimising ballast corrosion and environmental harm.

The highest cost for UV is the energy needed for a given dose, and maintenance and replacement of lamps. The EU-funded UV-MON project identified a way to reduce the operation cost of using UV with high efficiency under difficult water conditions. Scientists developed an intelligent BWT system that combines a novel electromagnetic wave-generated UV plasma treatment system with one that monitors biological activity.

UV-MON's UV treatment system is modular and scalable, whereas the bio-monitoring system is a flow cytometer coupled with an auto-sampling preparation and concentration system. Based on the data stemming from the bio-monitor and the microorganism concentration, the system varies the UV dose rate. Furthermore, an online data logger is recording data to assist in optimising the developed system over time.

The cost for controlling invasive species is relatively very high, amounting to almost EUR 13 billion. The first of its kind, the UV-MON solution should thus provide Europe with a competitive advantage in the global market. Furthermore, having a compliant and tested system available on the market could aid ratification of the IMO legislation.

Related information

Keywords

Invasive species, ultraviolet, ballast water, merchant vessels, ballast water treatment, UV radiation, UV plasma, biological activity, bio-monitoring system, flow cytometer, online data logger
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