Deoxygenating Ballast Water: A Win-Win Solution

A team of marine scientists report that a novel method for combating ship ballast corrosion may also be a cost-effective way to stem the tide of invasive species that are wreaking havoc on local marine ecosystems around the world.1 The process involves pumping bubbling nitrogen gas into ballast water to remove oxygen, which, in turn, prevents oxidation and rust in the tanks. The depletion of oxygen transforms the ballast water environment into one that is toxic to most aquatic organisms, which a

A. J. S. Rayl
Feb 3, 2002
A team of marine scientists report that a novel method for combating ship ballast corrosion may also be a cost-effective way to stem the tide of invasive species that are wreaking havoc on local marine ecosystems around the world.1 The process involves pumping bubbling nitrogen gas into ballast water to remove oxygen, which, in turn, prevents oxidation and rust in the tanks. The depletion of oxygen transforms the ballast water environment into one that is toxic to most aquatic organisms, which are sensitive to oxygen levels.

"It's a rare, win-win treatment that addresses a serious environmental problem and offers a cost-savings for the shipping industry," says marine ecologist Mario N. Tamburri of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, who authored the study with Kerstin Wasson of the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, and Masayasu Matsuda, of Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd., of Japan.

Previous research has shown that...

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