The Ocean Clean Up Next Phase

The next phase for Boyan Slat (CEO and Founder) and his team at The Ocean Cleanup is getting near.

On Thursday May 11th, The Ocean Cleanup will be sharing a very special announcement with the world. Discover what they’ve been working on for the past two years, and what will be happening next. The unveiling event will take place at the spectacular “Werkspoorkathedraal” in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and will be streamed LIVE on their webpage at 8.00pm CET / 2.00pm EST.

Check out source The Ocean Clean Up for more info and an unveiling teaser video of what’s to come!

Plastic-eating Caterpillar

Yet again, we find ourselves turning back to “mother-nature” for answers with regards to environmental restoration.

Announced on BBC news only days ago, we’ve now discovered a caterpillar that munches on plastic bags could hold the key to tackling plastic pollution, scientists say.

Researchers at Cambridge University have discovered that the larvae of the moth, which eats wax in bee hives, can also degrade plastic.

Experiments show the insect can break down the chemical bonds of plastic in a similar way to digesting beeswax.

Each year, about 80 million tonnes of the plastic polyethylene are produced around the world.

The plastic is used to make shopping bags and food packaging, among other things, but it can take hundreds of years to decompose completely.

However, caterpillars of the moth (Galleria mellonella) can make holes in a plastic bag in under an hour.

Dr Paolo Bombelli is a biochemist at the University of Cambridge and one of the researchers on the study.

“The caterpillar will be the starting point,” he told BBC News.

“We need to understand the details under which this process operates.

“We hope to provide the technical solution for minimizing the problem of plastic waste.”

Visit the source link on BBC News for more information!

A Sponge for Oil Spills

A group of researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory have developed a sponge that will collect oil from bodies of water, which could improve how harbors and ports are cleaned, as well as how oil spills are managed.

“The Oleo Sponge offers a set of possibilities that, as far as we know, are unprecedented,” said co-inventor Seth Darling, a scientist with Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials and a fellow of the University of Chicago’s Institute for Molecular Engineering.

At tests at a giant seawater tank in New Jersey called Ohmsett, the National Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility, the Oleo Sponge successfully collected diesel and crude oil from both below and on the water surface.

“The material is extremely sturdy. We’ve run dozens to hundreds of tests, wringing it out each time, and we have yet to see it break down at all,” according to Darling.

The team is actively looking to commercialize the material; those interested in licensing the technology or collaborating with the laboratory on further development may contact partners@anl.gov.

For more info and a video demonstration visit Argonne’s website here!

Reintroducing ByFusion

Consider the empowering solutions to pollution, waste management and local community development made possible by the ByFusion machine. Their goal is to put all plastic waste to work cost effectively, maximizing efforts of people cleaning by creating building blocks called RePlast. Here is an overview:

PLASTIC-AGNOSTIC: We do not discriminate against any type of plastic. We take it all.

 STREAMLINED PROCESSING: No sorting or pre-washing required. Just shovel in the plastic and the transformation process begins.

100% MODULAR: Self-contained and fully transportable. Runs on gas or electric to meet varying conditions.

ECO-FRIENDLY DESIGN: Nearly 100% carbon neutral, non-toxic manufacturing process.

CUSTOMIZABLE BYPRODUCT: Able to control density and shape of the product, called RePlast. Currently configured to manufacture common cinder block sized material.

FIT FOR PURPOSE: RePlast was developed to be used in a wide variety of applications from walling to roadway barriers. In most cases, we are able to customize RePlast to meet the needs of the job.
Check out their website http://www.byfusion.com for more info!

Mother Earth Project

The Mother Earth Project, MEP, is focused on celebrating the small and large tasks each of us take to recycle, save energy, minimize pollution, and reduce our carbon footprint. Their hope is by creating a greater collective awareness, we will accelerate the activities necessary to save the environment, and preserve the planet for future generations.

MEP has created a monumental 15 foot-tall sculpture with the likeness of the human face. The vision behind this sculpture was to conceive of a way to incentivize countries to participate in stopping and reversing climate change, and thus preserve the environment. Each participating country places a Mother Earth sculpture in their capital city, showing their commitment to helping the environment and as a symbol of sustainability. In order to be eligible for receiving a Mother Earth sculpture, countries must submit their environment-saving actions and timelines to the United Nations.

As countries announce environment-saving achievements, the Mother Earth Project posts these major accomplishments on its MEP Hall of Achievements page.

What a wonderful way to educate, inspire and acknowledge the efforts of people around the world!

(Visit their website for more info: http://motherearthproject.org/ )

The Death Toll of Air Pollution

Pollution is no joke and the whole world involved is listening.

Pollution and environmental risks are responsible for 1.7 million deaths of children below the age of five, according to two World Health Organization (WHO) reports released Monday.

The reports reveal that 570,000 of children’s deaths each year are attributed to respiratory infections, like pneumonia, caused by both indoor and outdoor air pollution, as well as second-hand smoke. Additionally, 270,000 children a year die in their first month from conditions due to air pollution and lack of sanitation, according to the WHO.

“A polluted environment is a deadly one — particularly for young children,” Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of WHO, said in a press release. “Their developing organs and immune systems, and smaller bodies and airways, make them especially vulnerable to dirty air and water.”

Chan has previously called pollution “one of the most pernicious threats” to health around the world — far greater than the threat of HIV/AIDS or Ebola, BBC reports.

In addition to the deaths, the WHO found that 11–14% of younger children worldwide report asthma symptoms and nearly half (an estimated 44%) of those cases result from the environmental factors.

(Visit the source article on Fortune for more information!)

(Photo credit: Witch Kiki)

Se@Drone

In Delft, Netherlands a team by the name of “Se@Drone” is developing an unmanned surface and underwater drone duo that can pick up trash off the bottom of the sea floor! The surface drone holds the underwater drone during travel and releases it with a winch as a life-line. Once the underwater drone finds trash on the sea floor 4 sides can close around the waste.

Check out SeaDroneNL’s facebook page for more infomation!

( Link: https://www.facebook.com/SeaDroneNL/ )

Undersea Oil Spill Device

At the age of 18, Karan Jerath of Friendswood, Texas won the top prize for Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (IISEF) for inventing a device that shuts down undersea oil spills.

Jerath was also one of the five students selected for the Intel and Indo-US Science and Technology Forum Visit to India Award. Jerath designed a sturdy device that can collect the oil, gas and water spewing from a broken well on the seafloor.

“Sensors inside the 350-ton device would measure the temperature, pressure and density of the mix of gases and fluids erupting from a well,” Karan said. “A computer would then calculate how valves in the gadget should be adjusted so that the gas and oil can be collected. That should stop a spill in its tracks. The device could help prevent an ecological catastrophe. It also would reduce cleanup costs.”

 (Source: Huffington Post)

Magnetic Water-Cleaning Technology

A hydro-magnetic system, the first of its kind, was made by the scientists at Omni Enviro and installed in the Sochi River near the Black Sea in western Russia. This system is a hydro-technical structure installed in the river and is described as “a running/flowing type” of magnetic water treatment plant.

Within a few hours of the hydro-magnetic system’s operation in the Sochi River, the scientists, as well as thousands of other people who had come to see this experiment, witnessed unique changes.

One change was that shoals of fish could be seen swimming from the direction of the sea towards the water that had flowed through the magnetic system. Because magnetic water coagulates particles floating in the water causing them to sink to the bottom, the water becomes much clearer with visibility improving markedly. Witnesses claim that there were so many fish in the river, it was impossible to see the bottom even though the depth of the river in that area is no more than 1.5 meters.

Widespread interest in the hydro-magnetic system in Sochi lead Omni Enviro to build a complex called a “Magnetic Quay” and located it on the banks of the river.

This complex includes a “Magnetic Coffee Shop”, and a gallery exhibiting magnetic devices. Company representatives are always available at “Magnetic Quay” to explain to tourists the everyday use of magnetic technologies. (OmniEnviro Source link: https://www.omnienviro.com/environment/rivers-lakes.php)

Check out their website for more research and video testimonials! Does this mean fish can swim in cleaner water? Are there any adverse effects in using this magnetic technology?

Recyclone: Sir James Dyson’s River Cleaner

RecycloneLike a knight coming back after retirement to slay another dragon Sir James Dyson has begun to fashion a river-cleaning barge modeled after his famous Dyson vacuum technology. He explains in an interview with Fast Company “The nets face upstream and skim the surface of the river for floating debris. The plastic waste is shredded on board and then different grades of plastic are separated by a huge cyclone–very similar to the way our cyclonic vacuums work.”

Around a year ago he was quoted saying his project “Recyclone” is still in development.  One of his primary concerns was finding effective ways of preventing aquatic life from being sucked in along with the trash.  Another question that arose was that of sorting larger trash like plastic bottles from smaller trash like plastic beads. In response, Dyson explains that his team is developing a system analogous to the Dyson Vacuum in the sense that it sorts trash from largest to smallest.

Here is a great article and interview inhabitat hosted with Sir James Dyson on his new invention in the works.