N.E.I. Treatment Systems engaged a number of private and government funded research efforts, beginning as early as February 2002, with engineering design and development of the Venturi Oxygen System™ (VOS™) Ballast Water Treatment System (BWTS). While VOS™ is a commercially delivered BWTS today, refinement and continuous improvement of the entire system is ongoing.
In March 2003, through a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Maritime Administration (MARAD) Sea Grant Program, the University of Maryland's Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (CBL) began testing the ability of the VOS™ System to kill or inactivate harmful microscopic aquatic organisms. Lab-scale testing proved the system was very effective. In March 2004, testing began on a 300m3/hr system to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment at high flow rates. This version was identical to the equipment subsequently used in a shipboard system.
N.E.I.s first shipboard VOS™ System was installed in January 2005 and was successful in demonstrating full compliance with the IMO's Ballast Water Discharge Standards.
All land-based biological testing was conducted by CBL of the University of Maryland's Center for Environmental Science. Shipboard trials were conducted by a team of scientists from CBL and the Marine Invasions Research Laboratory of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, a U.S. Federal Government Laboratory. This testing was funded entirely by grants from U.S. NOAA as part of the U.S. Ballast Water Technology Demonstration Program. This testing was published as a peer-reviewed independent research paper summarizing the evaluation of N.E.I.'s VOS™ System. Read Research Paper >>
*DISCLAIMER: The foregoing Research Paper was originally presented at the 2005 Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) Maritime Technology Conference and Expo. It is reprinted for this website by permission of SNAME and cannot be reprinted without written permission from SNAME, 601 Pavonia Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306.
In April 2003, the Naval Research Laboratory began a detailed examination of the effects of the VOS™ System on corrosion of ballast tank steel and coatings, based on the beneficial low oxygen ballast tank environment maintained by VOS™. This research was conducted at the Navy's Center for Corrosion Science and Engineering facility in Key West, FL. Separately, in June 2005, BMT Fleet Technology conducted a long-term study to evaluate the corrosion protection benefits of the VOS™ System. In both independent evaluations, ballast tank steel corrosion was proven to be reduced by 84 percent, extending the life of ships' ballast tanks to over 35 years while protecting the ballast tank coatings from premature deterioration. Read Corrosion Test Results >>