Prime Lake: Study of wastewater treatment from scrubbers paves way for sustainable usage

Prime Lake Technology Sweden AB has successfully completed a pilot test for the elimination of harmful contaminants found in wastewater generated from open-loop scrubbers. The study paves way for sustainable usage amid concerns around direct ocean discharge, according to the company.

Image Courtesy: Prime Lake

The test results, obtained by ALS Scandinavia, verify a significant reduction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and sulphur (S), improved turbidity and pH-levels, as well as a dramatic increase of dissolved oxygen (DO).

Prime Lake is now moving ahead with its partner, one of Europe’s largest shipowners, to assess and optimize the onboard technical implementation for seaborne trials. Eventually, revised policy recommendations from relevant government entities and maritime bodies can be anticipated, according to the company.

“Coinciding with the new IMO 2020 framework we early on identified treatment of wastewater from scrubbers as a priority, with so-called open-loop scrubbers being especially problematic from a marine pollution perspective as they discharge wastewater straight into the ocean,” Victor Chang, CEO of Prime Lake, said.

“Although further tests are required for optimization it is safe to say that our Electro-Aeration solution transforms the wastewater from open loop scrubbers into a ‘product’ that can be discharged with minimal impact on the marine environment, falling well within acceptable limit,” he added.

”Working closely with ship owners and maritime associations around this issue has been a key aspect for us since inception. As a response to the IMO 2020 framework owners globally rushed to install scrubbers in order to be compliant with the sulphur cap, with an estimated 85% of owners opting for open loop scrubbers,” George Kinigalakis, Chief Compliance Officer at Prime Lake and former expert advisor on EU programs around ship recycling, commented.

“However, wastewater generated from scrubbers caused several key ports to enact ECAs, which over time would create a challenging environment – for liners in particular – to operate key routes. Consequently, it is satisfying that we are now able to present a possible solution for these owners, and we are looking forward to seaborne trials to advance this technology further.”

Prime Lake is a spin-off from Medi Metal, a Swedish research-oriented company from Uppsala. The company provides technology to globally address the need for providing access to clean water and has together with its strategic partners developed and patented an eco-friendly, scalable and cost effective alternative to chemical based methods.