About 8 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year. If no action is taken, by 2050, there will be more plastic waste in the oceans than fish.
Tired of hitting floating objects during his races and seeing heavenly places turn into landfills, a French adventurer, Yvan Bourgnon, has decided to fight this global scourge. With his team he conceived the project SeaCleaners and specifically Manta, a giant plastic-eating catamaran powered by renewable energy. The sailboat collects the plastic garbage and converts it into fuel for self-consumption.
The Manta catamaran will be the first of its kind capable of collecting, treating and recovering large quantities of marine plastic waste. Built in low carbon steel, it is equipped with an electric hybrid propulsion system for entering and exiting ports, as well as for waste collection, which is carried out at 2 or 3 knots. Agile and energy efficient, the Manta can reach a top speed of over 12 knots.
About 500kW of renewable energy on board is generated by two wind turbines, 500 square meters of photovoltaic solar panels, two hydro-generators under the boat and a waste-to-energy conversion unit (WECU). The power supply from renewable energy sources will allow the boat to operate for 75% of the time autonomously, without the use of fossil fuels and with a minimum environmental impact.
Thanks to a unique combination of collection means, Manta will be able to collect both floating macro-waste and smaller debris from 10 millimeters upwards and up to one meter deep. Depending on the density and proximity of the waste layers, the ship can collect 1 to 3 tons of waste per hour, with the aim of collecting 5 to 10,000 tons per year.
The Manta is the first self-sufficient vessel capable of handling 90 to 95% of the plastic waste collected while at sea. The waste collection conveyor belts, similar to the third generation Interceptor ship system of the Ocean Cleanup project, carry the waste on board. A separate collection unit manually separates waste according to their type. A waste-to-energy conversion unit then converts the collected waste into electricity through the pyrolysis process, which in turn powers all of the boat’s electrical equipment. This method emits very little CO2 or pollutants into the air.
In addition, it can host international scientific missions, thanks to its on-board research facilities. 6 to 10 scientists can board the Manta at a time and the data collected will be fully accessible via Open data.
The Manta will mainly sail in Asia, Africa and South America in strategic areas where marine plastic pollution is particularly critical. The ship will also be able to rapidly intervene in polluted areas following a natural or climatic disaster (cyclones, tsunamis, etc.).
Bourgnon has estimated a two-year build for the first model, with delivery scheduled for late 2024.
Here is a video presentation:
Source: Il Blog di Beppe Grillo by beppegrillo.it.
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