Effect of Mucilage Pollution on Ship Cooling Systems: A Case Study

Usluer H. B. , Ejder E., Zincir B. A. , Arslanoğlu Y.

Marine Science and Technology Bulletin, vol.11, no.1, pp.179-186, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


In recent years, ecological degradation has increased and drawn many environmental problems with it. One of the outcomes is the mucilage problem, which directly affects tourism, fishing, and especially the maritime sector. The recent mucilage outbreak in the Sea of Marmara has brought attention to these environmental disaster-related studies. However, there are only a few studies about mucilage’s effect on maritime transportation. In this context, the impact of mucilage on a marine vessel is examined within the scope of the study. One of the major negative effects of mucilage on a vessel is, its cooling system. Due to the mucosal formation of mucilage, it clogs the filters and reduces the cooling effect of seawater. In our paper, a case study was made, and data was obtained from a simulator. The seawater filter in front of the seawater pump was clogged by 0%, 30%, 45%, and 60% during the simulated case studies. 0% is the base condition that is not clogged by the mucilage while the other three cases are partially clogged. A comparison study was made according to the data gathered from the simulator. While the filter is clogged by 60% main engine is in slow down condition, but during 30% and 45% of cases, pumps tried to compensate cooling effect by increasing the seawater flow. However, enough cooling effects on the main engine jacket water, air cooler, lubrication oil cooler, steam condenser, and air compressor were not provided. Moreover, the reduced cooling effect increases fuel oil consumption which leads to higher CO2 emissions. These results show that mucilage not only affects fishing, and tourism but also affects the environment by increasing the fuel oil consumption of a vessel.