Leading wastewater treatment systems specialist ACO Marine has launched a novel water recovery system that gives vessel owners greater capacity to re-use the treated effluent from wastewater treatment plants.
The ACO Water Maker WM3 converts treated waste water into pure distilled technical water for such applications as general surface cleaning, laundry, showering, toilet flushing, engine cooling – in fact, any fresh water requirement.
The unit, which has extremely low energy consumption, reduces a ship’s need to take on fresh water in port or to make its own water through reverse osmosis or flash evaporation – both high energy consumers.
It is suitable for use onboard all vessel types and can be easily retrofitted to ACO Marine’s Maripur and Clarimar wastewater treatment solutions in addition to third party systems. A typical unit has a footprint not dissimilar to the size of a small domestic refrigerator, with water-making capacities ranging from 6, 000 to 24, 000 litres per day.
“We have received a lot of interest in this innovative system, from the German Navy to Greenpeace, ” said Managing Director Mark Beavis. “It is environmentally-friendly and very cost effective. The smallest unit can even run solely on solar power.”
The water maker reduces the kilowatt power per litre of water produced compared with conventional methods and can cut wastewater dumping significantly. The unit also fulfils the function where vessels require freshwater generation redundancy.
“By enabling treated wastewater to be converted back into pure distilled technical water or even drinking water, the WM3 closes the water treatment loop, ” Beavis said. “The sterilisation process is so effective that all types of produced water can be stored in vessel holding tanks for at least 120 days without any further treatment.”
The ACO WM3 uses a hybrid technology of asymmetric selective membrane separation (THASMS) to treat any type of input water and remove all forms of biological, bacteriological, mineral, gas or toxic contamination.
The process converts treated effluent water by purification into the equivalent of pure, clear spring water. This is achieved purely by the physical processes of the system with no requirement for any chemicals.
The water is sterilised more than ten times by a combination of several technologies, including non-chemical sterilisation by ozone. A special function of the WM3 unit is that it removes dead bacteria.
The entire process is based on physical, natural processes controlled by an integral computer and ACO Marine’s in-house software. The resultant water contains no bacteria (living or dead), undesirable metals and toxins, nor any biological, gaseous or other forms of pollutant.
The unit can also take this one step further and add vital minerals to produce perfect, mineral balanced, drinking water of unbeatable quality.
ACO Marine, a subsidiary of the German-headquartered ACO Group, has developed the WM3 technology from its initial land-based application and is now actively marketing the water-maker technology across all segments of the global merchant and offshore marine industry.