Ballast water treatment system (BWTS) manufacturer Ecochlor has announced plans to bring the NanoVapor gas-freeing fuel tank technology to the maritime industry. The technology is currently undergoing final testing with Lloyd’s Register for type approval with the expectation of completion in time for the Marintec exhibition held in China next week.
Using break-through technology, the NanoVapor process reduces the time needed to achieve a gas-free condition in confined spaces by up to 90 per cent, making tank cleaning, maintenance, and inspections much safer and faster at the same time.
The NanoVapor technology improves crew safety while significantly reducing time and any environmental pollution related to gas-freeing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from cargo or bunker tanks.
According to Ecochlor, a single application can continue to suppress VOCs for days. The NanoVapor degassing process is more cost effective than traditional methods of cleaning these types of tanks.
A NanoVapor unit consists of two components: a nano-suppressant liquid, TankSafe and a portable delivery unit, Model ST-1000. The delivery unit operates using a compressed air source to create a high-flow air stream to inject the suppressant molecules into the tank. The molecular suppressant works up to 90 per cent faster than current enclosed space procedures to quickly suppress VOC evaporation.
“This new technology will assist vessel owners with their IMO 2020 compliance, given the increased need for bunker tank cleaning with the change of fuel grades and specifications. We believe the NanoVapor unit will greatly improve enclosed space crew safety and provide a better solution for shipowners as they face fuel emission deadlines,” said Steve Candito, Ecochlor’s CEO.
Stuart Bayliss, service manager at Kidderminster Petroleum Services shared his experiences: “The NanoVapor solution is by far the easiest, quickest and less expensive way to make a tank completely safe to work on. By using NanoVapor, the downtime of each tank is one day. By using alternative methods, such as water filling, the downtime can be as much as three days.”
TankSafe is engineered from renewable materials, is readily biodegradable and leaves no residue or hazardous waste product behind for clean-up or disposal. The ST-1000 delivery unit is intrinsically safe and ATEX Zone 2 rated with no electrical or moving parts.
Secretary general of InterManager Kuba Szymanski commented: “InterManager is watching closely for the arrival of NanoVapor by Ecochlor as it promises to be break-through technology for Enclosed Space Procedures. Just imagine having a chemical which will be able to suppress toxic vapours emission – would that be the technological advance which would help our seafarers? We sincerely hope so! Coupled with naval architects more responsible attitude to the design of spaces which require humans to work in, this technology should provide a much safer environment for crew. We can’t wait for NanoVapor to be available for our ships!”