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Thursday, August 29, 2019 

BWMS specialist Ecochlor has joined forces with US company NanoVapor to bring gas-freeing tank technology to the maritime industry.

There have been many reports of tragedies surrounding the cleaning of confined-spaces on board ships. Despite very strict procedures, regulatory guidelines and instruction manuals highlighting the risks associated with working in enclosed spaces, seafarers are still at risk of dying. According to  InterManager, seafarers reported: “enclosed spaces are frequently impossible to properly ventilate or to measure the atmosphere in, as well as being difficult to reach.”

The NanoVapor process reduces the time needed to achieve a gas-free condition in confined spaces by up to 90%, making tank cleaning, maintenance, and inspections much safer and faster at the same time. NanoVapor’s system consists of a liquid nano-suppressant and a hardware delivery unit: These components work together to produce and then insert tiny nano-droplets of suppressant molecules into the fuel tank using a high-flow air stream. The molecules work microscopically to quickly stop the evaporation of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) throughout the entire tank. It is even effective with residual fuel or sludge remaining in the tank, all the while fully preserving ambient oxygen for a seaman’s safe entry. The nanotechnology is completely non-toxic, non-corrosive, non-reactive, and biodegradable; it is completely safe for human contact.

Ecochlor’s Andrew Marshall believes that this nanotechnology will: “revolutionise tank cleaning and gas freeing of cargo and bunker tanks in preparation for dry dock or tank inspections for emergencies or maintenance. Additionally, it can be used to facilitate faster tank cleaning procedures in due to fuel switching for the new global sulfur cap regulations allowing vessels to get back to normal operation as quickly as possible.”

NanoVapor CEO Russ Chew said: “Our VSS’s have been successfully applied across the transportation industry for many years, including commercial aviation, retail underground tanks and inland marine. We have been designated a global ‘Best Practice’ standard by Shell Oil for the degassing of underground petrol tanks for maintenance and inspections.”

NanoVapor is currently undergoing review for Lloyd’s Register (LR) Type Approval.

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