How P&ID Software Can Save the Earth | Lucidchart Blog
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If you've ever been on a cruise ship, you know the usual sights and smells: sparkling blue water, salty sea breezes, tropical music floating through the air. What you might not realize is that this vessel, whether it's a cruise ship, tanker, or cargo carrier, regularly expels a huge amount of ballast water. Ballast water is simply seawater that's held in the ship's hull to increase propeller immersion, improve steering, and control trim and draft.


But what does seawater have to do with diagramming? Ballast water has the unfortunate side effect of being terrible for the environment. Its discharge usually includes non-native nuisance species that can cause extensive ecological and economic damage to aquatic ecosystems.

To fix that, chemical engineers use P&ID software to design cleaner, more efficient ballast waste treatment systems (BWTS).

And that work is paying off—the U.S. Coast Guard recently announced its acceptance of nine BWTS as Alternate Management Systems (AMS), helping to finally bring some clarity to ship owners, yards, and suppliers. “This is an important first step in making Coast Guard and foreign approved ballast water treatment systems available for the global shipping industry,” said Coast Guard Rear Adm. Joseph A. Servidio, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy.

P&ID drawings were essential to the acceptance of each BWTS, but they're also used to draft other key processes, especially those in chemical engineering. We're doing our part for the environment by providing free piping and instrumentation diagram symbols on the web. Now anyone can improve the safety, energy efficiency, and operational sequence of equipment and systems. We just rolled these out, so if you spot an error or omission, please let us know! We plan to introduce 100+ new shapes in the coming months. The current library includes an assortment of vessels, heat exchangers, pumps, and valves. Most of these shapes are intelligent, offering a set of options you can toggle off and on for greater versatility.


Comparable software packages tend to cost beaucoup bucks; not so with Lucidchart. Not only do the P&ID symbols come standard with our Free accounts, students and educators can access premium features at no cost. Whether you work or study at a university or a K-12 school, it's as simple as clicking here to provision a free account. With Lucidchart's intuitive drag-and-drop technology and extensive shape sets, you'll be able to quickly create any process and instrumentation diagram. We offer real-time collaboration with every account, so multiple users can work simultaneously on one doc, regardless of device type, OS, or physical location. All you need is an internet connection. So if you’re looking for free process & instrumentation shapes and symbols, why not sign up for a free 14-day Pro Trial? We don’t require a credit card number, a download, or any work on your end. Happy diagramming!