The Maritime Industry is Using Nature to Purify the Water it puts Back in the Ocean

Steve Kanaval |

The Economics of Clean Water

A massive business opportunity in the maritime industry comes at a time when water scarcity, as well as the global push to manage contaminated water, is at an all time high. We recognized quite some time ago that the key to solving the world’s water problems, including the maritime example, would require a new way of thinking about how to treat water, and that any viable solution had to be significantly less expensive than what was historically available.

Nature Shows the Way

The Iodine Cycle is an elegant cleansing system for our earth, and it is a critical cycle to maintain microbial balance in nature, while at the same time, iodine supports life as an essential nutrient and catalyst to oxygen. Iodine is part of the circle of life. Stored in the ocean, processed by phytoplankton and algae, evaporated into the clouds and activated by UV light, iodine falls to the earth with the rain, as it is taken up by plants and animals on earth, and eventually finds its way back to the ocean.

One company I have been following for years has a unique and cost-effective iodine solution that accelerates the mechanics of this natural cycle, enabling an extremely efficient cleansing method sending treated water back into the ocean. Just a few weeks ago, University of Alberta researchers unveiled the tested results of the BioLargo, Inc. (BLGO) AOS Filter and explained the findings of 100 studies that demonstrate its potential to save the maritime industry billions, as well as offering the potential to impact every segment of the $350 billion water industry.

AOS Filter Operating Cost Comparison

In her thesis at Tallinn University, Advanced Oxidation Processes for Water Purification and Soil”,  Anna Goi calculated the energy costs to operate UV and ozone technologies at varying pH levels to promote advanced oxidation and found that they can run in a wide range of anywhere from $100 per acre foot to as high as several thousand dollars per acre/foot. Energy cost for the AOS Filter in a high saline environment are less than 1/20th the energy cost of the nearest competing technology.

To put this in perspective; a tanker carrying 25 million gallons of ballast water is the equivalent of about 75 acre/feet that has to be processed on each voyage before discharging back into the ocean. At the most conservative cost of $100 per acre/foot for energy costs alone, that equals close to $7,500 per trip. On the other hand, the AOS Filter uses so little energy that the energy cost to process 75 acre/feet at less than 1/20th would be in the $375 range or less, per voyage, versus $7,500 for the cheapest system. If a vessel with this much ballast water makes 30 voyages per year, operating costs for energy to power the AOS Filter would be less than $11,250 versus a minimum of $225,000 for competing systems. 

The AOS Filter combines iodine, water filter materials and electrolysis within a flow-through water filter device, generating extremely high oxidation potential that easily eliminates soluble organic contaminants and efficiently delivers extremely high rates of disinfection. The science behind the AOS Filter represents an astonishing discovery that will fundamentally change the way water is treated.

The BioLargo AOS Filter uses common materials and operates at ultra-low power levels. Its configuration essentially converts what would ordinarily be considered a typical filter into a safe and highly effective electrochemical reactor that generates extremely high levels of oxidation potential across the surfaces within the device. As a result, it can do the job at a fraction of the time and cost of any other known technology. Of course, the bottom line is that it works – and it works so well that researchers call the results “unprecedented”.

AOS Filter Capital Cost Savings

BioLargo has already assembled hundreds of AOS Filters from readily available parts as the company prepares for its first customer led commercial pilots. The cost to build one complete AOS Filter system is a fraction of today’s competing systems, and many expect the pricing model to be well received by industry. With an average cost of competing systems for use in the maritime market estimated at $750,000, analysts expect a substantial cost savings (both Cap-X and Op-X).

The AOS Filter Is Ready for Commercialization

With proven technology that is far advanced over all others, combined with low energy costs and competitive pricing, our AOS Filter is now ready for commercialization. 

Contamination of the oceans combined with troublesome worldwide pollution and global drought are all pointing to big global demand and a very bright future for BioLargo’s breakthrough technology. Biolargo is able to bring high value to the maritime industry as well as many other industries and to become a commercial success in the short, medium and long term.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to:


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