A continuous microwave system for prevention of invasive species during de-ballasting operation--death kinetics.
ABSTRACT A continuous microwave heating system was tested for its effectiveness at removing potentially invasive organisms during deballasting operations. Four different organisms, namely Nannochloropsis oculata (microalgae), Artemia nauplii, Artemia adults and Crassosstrea virginica (oyster larvae) normally found in ballast water were investigated in a controlled study to quantify their survival after continuous microwave heating of synthetic ballast water. The experiments were performed in the microwave system using a 2 x 2 factorial design with power (2.5 and 4.5 kW) and flow rate (1.0 and 2.0 lpm) and the organisms subsequently subjected to different holding times. The control treatment was performed in a water bath using the same temperatures and holding times as in the case of the microwave treatment. Overall, the results obtained indicated that the microwave system was more effective in eliminating the organisms when compared with the control treatment. In most cases there were no survivors present after the microwave treatment at holding times above 100 s, and temperatures as low as 50 degrees C particularly for oyster larvae and Artemia adults. The results are promising, indicating that this technology has the potential to be an effective tool in controlling/preventing the introduction of invasive species into native environments.