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30. August 2019

Porometric mesh: Key role in ballast water filtration

Animal and plant microorganisms that enter into new ecosystems with the ballast water from ships cause serious damage to economy, ecology, and health. In 2004, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) therefore passed the Ballast Water Management Convention, which has been in force since 2017. The three-dimensional Porometric mesh from GKD – GEBR. KUFFERATH AG with improved dirt holding capacity easily meets the D-2 standards specified in the Convention as well as the significantly stricter U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) certification.

The discharge of ballast water releases many undesirable microorganisms in harbors that can cause lasting damage to the indigenous aquatic flora and fauna. To protect against these risks, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has formulated standards that require every ship to treat its ballast water on board. The manufacturers of such on-board ballast water treatment systems use a two-step process consisting of mechanical separation and chemical or physical disinfection to keep within the strict limits. Fine filtration for removing all organisms within the range of 10 to 50 µm calls for filter media that combine the necessary filtration rates with high throughput rates and a long service life. They must also have a minimal tendency to block and be easy to clean. GKD has met this need with its saltwater-proof Porometric mesh – a further development of the Optimized Dutch Weaves – in a quality that has so far not been seen on the market. The high-performance mesh with the pore size of 24 µm exceeds all currently available filter media for ballast water treatment in terms of cleaning characteristics, flow rate, and particle retention. The slit structure of the mesh design with a porosity of over 80 percent significantly increases the flow rate without any alteration to the filter size, thereby allowing for the limited space available on the ships. The refined particle retention reduces costs in the downstream UV treatment process. Thanks to the improved dirt holding capacity, the number of cleaning cycles is also reduced. Whether they are material combinations or designs made of metals, such as Monel or Super Duplex, all saltwater-proof Porometric types boast PREN values of over 40. It is this range of properties that has elevated Porometric mesh to its status as the current leading filter media for ballast water filtration.

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