Effective January 1, 2005, operators of large ocean-going vessels were subject to a new International Maritime Organization (IMO) standard that limits the discharge of bilge water hydrocarbon-based contaminants to 15 parts-per-million (ppm).
Currently, vessel operators employ oil-water separators that filter out contaminants. Monitors are installed at the outlet of the filtration equipment to track filter effectiveness. The current best-available monitoring technology employs either spectrophotometers or fluorometers. Hydrocarbons befoul these light-based monitors, so they emit false-positive signals. At the same time, they cannot detect less than 10 micron particles so they are subject to false negatives. The IMO standard for their accuracy is +/-5 ppm. The Quansor monitor with receptor chemistry that binds hydrocarbon-based constituents will meet this challenge.
The market size is the 87,000 ocean-going vessels currently on the seas and another 67,000 vessels that serve coastal and inland US waterways. IMO regulations are driving this market. Ships’ captains that are caught with oily discharges have been given stiff fines and have spent jail time. They must have a working monitor with an output that signals when the 15 ppm limit has been reached or face severe consequences.
The cost of the competing light-based monitor is at least $3,500. A cost to Quansor for this market will be about $500 and its sales price will be at least $3,500 before selling expenses..
Quansor has the hydrocarbon-detecting receptor for this application. The Quansor monitor will be a reliable, low-maintenance, environmentally-responsible product that will be free of problems that beset existing monitors. The Navy is very interested in the Quansor monitor.
Market entry for this will be delayed, as the US Government has added expensive regulatory hurdles. Quansor entry will take place when the cash flow permits.
 The regulations are set forth in “REPORT OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION COMMITTEE
ON ITS FORTY-NINTH SESSION”, Agenda Item 22 of the IMO, dated 13 August 2003