LG Sonic

Algae control in sea chests - Environmental

Prevent biofouling with ultrasound in sea chests and reduce maintenance costs. Improve the efficiency of the system. Reduce fuel consumption. Easy installation.


Sea chests are a hotspot for biofouling, because of the seawater that is pumped in through the sea chest gates.

Biofouling on sea chests can cause the spread of aquatic organisms such as microorganisms, plants, algae and animals in new environments. Currently, the only way to minimise biofouling effectively on sea chests is to remove it from the vessel in dry-dock. However, this process is expensive in both money and time, and therefore another solution to prevent biofouling is favourable.

Biofouling on sea chests is the accumulation of microorganism, plants, algae and animals. Sea chests help to increase the efficiency of pumping seawater on board, to provide reservoir water of ballast. To prevent the entry of large pieces of rubbish, sea chests are protected by grates. Therefore, the internal area of the sea chest may only be accessible when the vessel is in dry-dock. Biofouling on the internal surfaces of a sea chest may reduce the pumping efficiency of water on-board a vessel, and in extreme cases it might cause the complete blockage of pipes.

The current in-water removal or treatment of biofouling consists of chemicals which are harmful for the environment. Due to strict water quality regulations in some areas- the use of in-water treatment is prohibited. Another process to minimise biofouling from sea chests, is to remove it from the vessel in dry-dock. Nevertheless, this process has several limitations including; expense, duration and reliance on the availability of suitable dry-docking facilities. To remove biofouling from sea chests, ultrasound can be used which is an in-water treatment that is not harmful for the marine life, and has no side effects on the anti-corrosion layers.