Midway through the pandemic, multiple individuals, social organizations, and conversationalists shed light on a humongous upcoming challenge that was a byproduct of our use of masks and single-use personal protective equipment (PPE). It was estimated that around 1.56 billion masks will enter the oceans by the end of 2020, amounting to between 4,680 and 6,240 metric tonnes of plastic pollution- adding to a glut of plastic waste that already threatens marine life. Teams had found disposable masks floating like jellyfish in seas and oceans and waterlogged latex gloves scattered across seabeds. This was also, a loud reminder of a big existential threat we as a society are facing which is Ocean Pollution. This caught my eye and the need for an efficient system is what lead to this proposed product/system.
What it does
Proposed and built is a system that collects ocean garbage in high capacities mid-ocean deploying a very long array of floating barriers that act as an artificial coastline, allowing the ocean to clean itself. Accompanying in a water cleaning vehicle that brings the collected waste onboard and has the capacity to process and maneuvers it using minimum energy needs. The vihicle part
- The water vehicle would collect garbage using a water wheel powered conveyer belt • Retractable sea bins will be deployed radially outwards from the water vehicle and cleanse the ocean chemically • The Ocean collection part is depicted below • CONCENTRATE THE PLASTIC AND TAKE IT OUT
How we built it
The prototype of both the floating coastline and vehicle were designed on Autodesk Fusion 360 An accompanying video explaining the concept in detail was made using Autodesk Maya , specifically bringing to use the Bifrost Ocean Simulation System (BOSS) to bring oceanic simulations to life.
Challenges we ran into
Being a single membered team, I was unable to explore about the more technical aspects of the Water Vehicle like its Electronics, gear tran etc.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The proposed system is theoretically using just the natural forces to automate the collection , this is such a big conceptual big because it negates the use of the exponential amount of money that would otherwise have been involved, gives a near-perfect theoretical efficacy and it totally useable. I'm also proud to bring together existing solutions like the se-abin and incorporate it into the machine to make it useable for multiple water body systems. Additionally
- There, as of now exists no single machine which deals with pollutants of all kinds of water bodies.
- The sighting of the word ‘holistic’ multiple times stressing on our products wholeness sets its far ahead of any existing solution
- Our products focuses not just on the physical but chemical cleansing of the water body which is extremely important when it comes to well being of aquatic life.
- The use of renewable power sources in multiple forms, results in 1. Cost cutting 2. Prevention from environment degradation
- Our prototype mainly focuses on using less and less energy and being able to generate its power with the help of renewable energy such as solar, hydraulic and even using ocean current.
- There is also a backup that will work when none of the renewable energy is sufficient to power the vehicle which is array of Methanol Fuel cells.
- There is no realistic way to clean up the accumulation zones, each several million square kilometres in size. Coastlines are evidently very effective in catching plastic. Unfortunately, there is no landmass in the middle of these gyres so it is difficult to accumulate those garbage. Our product focuses on creating artificial coastlines in the middle of the ocean. The logistics and monetary benefits it comes with are extremely tough to break even using any other technique
What we learned
Learned extensively about designing, animation and editing, ocean systems, chemical physical water cleansing etc.
What's next for Omniclean
A fullly functional and technologically sound small scale prototype