EnSolve Biosystems has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant from the U.S. Navy to develop a fully automated biomechanical system for removal of oily wastes from ships’ bilge water. This contract builds on the work conducted in the Phase I research completed in February 2002. With the option, the contract value is approximately $750,000.
The new biomechanical technology would replace the existing mechanical oily water separators currently used by the Navy. These mechanical systems have proven to be unreliable and require high maintenance efforts.
According to Dr. Jason Caplan, president and CEO of EnSolve, the research program for the U.S. Navy will
be based on technology originally developed by the company for the commercial marine market. For the past three years, EnSolve’s customers have utilized the PetroLiminator® system, which uses safe, non-pathogenic bacteria to remove oil, grease, detergents and other hydrocarbons from bilge water so it meets strict international standards for overboard discharge. EnSolve will team with Bath Iron Works (a General Dynamics (GD)
company) on the current project to develop a similar biomechanical oil water separator for the U.S. Navy, but will include features for full automation plus several other enhancements.
The commercial PetroLiminator system has been type-approved by the U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian Department of Transport, certifying compliance with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) carriage requirements.
In April 2001, EnSolve Biosystems was presented the prestigious Seatrade Award for countering marine and atmospheric pollution, honoring its innovative work in developing the world’s first biomechanical bilge water treatment system for the marine industry.
“We are pleased to have this opportunity to work closely with the U.S. Navy and Bath Iron Works in finding a reliable, cost effective solution for the vexing problem of oily bilge water,” said Caplan. “Our goal is to build on our existing technology to develop a fully automated biomechanical oil removal system that will meet the Navy’s requirements for surface ships and submarines.”