Synthetic lipids as a biocide candidate for disinfection of ballast water


The objective of this study is to propose the use of specific synthetic lipid as an active substance (biocide) in the control of harmful aquatic microorganisms, such as pathogens and non-indigenous species, transported in ships’ ballast water. The biocide candidate, without metal or halogen components, was produced from a sub-product of the edible oil industry, the lecithin. Laboratory assays were conducted with phytoplankton, zooplankton, and marine bacteria to evaluate the efficiency of the biocide. The study also considers specific biocide’s characteristics related to environmental risks, such as chemical composition, persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity. Results showed that, in the first 24 hours of treatment, the biocide effectively reduced the concentration of the planktonic micro-organisms to very low levels. Additionally, a preliminary risk evaluation pointed that biocide candidate has a low residual toxicity, also a low potential for persistence and bioaccumulation in the environment.

Marine Pollution Bulletin