The Ocean Cleanup is about to send a giant plastic collector to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

April 20, 2018 by  
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The  Great Pacific Garbage Patch is growing at an alarming rate — and it’s already three times the size of France . Fortunately, help is on the way: new images show that The Ocean Cleanup  is building an innovative  plastic -scooping system in Alameda, CA, and they’re planning to launch it as early as this summer. There are around 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic junk in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and The Ocean Cleanup , started by now-23-year-old Boyan Slat , is much closer to deploying its technology to tackle the dilemma. The group’s  Road to the Cleanup timeline reveals that, earlier this month, the crew finished “the first weld of two floater sections” — the official start of the assembly process. Days later, the organization shared another image of what they called great progress. Related: The Ocean Cleanup launches San Francisco base in Pacific trash-busting bid Fast Company reported  that a massive floating tube, around 2,000 feet long, will serve as a U-shaped barrier to help trap plastic. It’s flexible enough to bend with ocean waves and is made of HDPE plastic — the same material that the system aims to collect, according to ABC7 News . A nylon screen attached to the tube will catch plastic beneath the waves — but not fish, as it isn’t a net. Big anchors, a concept unveiled by Slat in a presentation last year , will essentially tether the system not to the seabed, but to a deep water layer. When might we be able to see the system in action? The Road to the Cleanup timeline estimates launch will happen in the middle of this year. The first piece of the system, which is about as long as a football field, will be towed out into the ocean for tests in a few weeks. The piece will be connected to the larger system following the local tow test, and a final test 200 miles offshore will occur after assembly is finished. It will take three weeks for the system to reach the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and The Ocean Cleanup could get there in August if everything goes as planned. Plastic they gather could be transformed into various  products — clothing, for example — and the Ocean Cleanup could have a shipment of plastic in late fall. + The Ocean Cleanup + Road to the Cleanup Via Fast Company and ABC7 News Images via The Ocean Cleanup

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The Ocean Cleanup is about to send a giant plastic collector to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

This new 3D-printed house was built by a portable robot in just 48 hours

April 20, 2018 by  
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There are a lot of 3D-printed houses popping up these days, but this is the first time an architect with the renown of Massimiliano Locatelli of CLS Architetti and Arup has tackled one. Built out of a special quick-drying mortar, the 1,076-square-foot house was constructed in just 48 hours. Locatelli envisions 3D printing as the housing of the future – and that his house could be constructed anywhere,”even the moon.” The project, 3D Housing 05 , was built on-site by a portable robot as a way of showing how 3D-printing can reduce construction waste but still create a beautiful space. The house is the first of its kind, because it is 3D-printed, but can be deconstructed and reassembled somewhere else. Like you’d expect from such respected names in architecture, the house is quite stylish. A one-story home with curved walls and four separate spaces built out of 35 modules, the house embraces its 3D-printed roots, with the printing texture adding warmth to the concrete space. The architects used a  Cybe mobile 3D concrete printer and a specific mortar called CyBe MORTAR. The material sets in five minutes, with a dehydration time of 24 hours – compared to the 28 days for traditional concrete. Related: New 3D-printed house can be built in less than a day for just $4,000 “My vision was to integrate new, more organic shapes in the surrounding landscapes or urban architecture…. The challenges are the project’s five key values: creativity, sustainability, flexibility, affordability and rapidity. The opportunity is to be a protagonist of a new revolution in architecture,” Locatelli told Wallpaper* . Arup and CLS Architetti revealed the design at the Salone del Mobile festival in the grand Piazza Cesare Beccaria. + 3D Printed Housing 05 + Arup + CLS Architetti via Treehugger

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This new 3D-printed house was built by a portable robot in just 48 hours

Ocean Cleanup Project launches San Francisco base in Pacific trash-busting bid

February 14, 2018 by  
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The Ocean Cleanup Project seeks to dismantle the Great Pacific Garbage Patch , guided by an ambitious design concept and the development of new technology to tackle the pollution threat. First conceived in 2013 by aerospace engineering student Boyan Slat, the Ocean Cleanup Project has recently announced the location of its home base, a former naval station in San Francisco Bay . From here, the Ocean Cleanup Project will manufacture, then launch, the first of its giant trash-collecting booms. With any luck, the inaugural trash-busting voyage will set sail in mid-2018. In addition to its strategic location, the former Alameda Naval Station in San Francisco Bay is a location that carries special significance for Slat. “Next to Alameda’s major historical military significance, it was here that the famous car chase scene in The Matrix Reloaded was filmed, and it was home to some of the best experiments of my favorite childhood TV show, MythBusters,” said Slat . “We’re honored to be allowed to use this site as the assembly yard for the world’s first ocean cleanup system. Hopefully, we will make some history here as well.” Related: Could France-sized ocean garbage patch become 196th nation? The Ocean Cleanup Project ‘s 2,000-foot-long system harnesses natural currents to catch trash in passive, strategically located arms, under which wildlife should be able to swim. While some have criticized the project for the potential environmental damage and cost, the group has committed to undergoing environmental impact studies at every stage in development and production. The team has already conducted aerial surveys of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and developed a prototype system in the Netherlands. By the end of this year, we should know more about whether the Ocean Clean Project’s design is an effective tool to fight pollution. Via New Atlas Images via The Ocean Cleanup Project

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Ocean Cleanup Project launches San Francisco base in Pacific trash-busting bid

Moya Power tests sheeting material to harvest wind power from London’s Crossrail

February 14, 2018 by  
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We can harness the power of wind in a field or on the ocean, but what about in drafty train tunnels? 27-year-old Charlotte Slingsby’s startup Moya Power seeks to generate electricity capturing wind in existing infrastructure, Wired reported . The company employs a lightweight sheeting material to harvest low grade wind power. They have a pilot project underway on the London Crossrail . Slingsby pioneered Moya Power as part of an Innovation Design Engineering master’s program at Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art (RCA); the description on RCA’s website describes Moya as a building material able to harvest wind energy in a variety of locations, like bridges or building facades. The statement on the project said, “The printed, semi-transparent sheets are light, low cost, versatile, and scalable.” Related: Pavegen unveils world’s first energy-harvesting smart street in London Wired described Moya as lamellae-covered plastic sheets. Moya Power’s website said the energy harvesting material “is designed to scavenge-off low grade wind energy, which is abundantly found against existing infrastructure . This involves vibrations and low speed, turbulent winds generating power 24 hours a day, which can be mounted on otherwise unused surfaces, hidden from public view.” One of those areas is the London Crossrail . The Moya material has been installed in tunnels , where wind from trains causes protrusions on the sheeting to move to generate electricity. According to Wired, the system is able to generate 10 percent of the power per square meter a solar panel can. Slingsby sees her product as one piece of a future mixture of urban power sources. She told Wired, “If we all live in cities that need electricity, we need to look for new, creative ways to generate it. I wanted to create something that works in different situations and that can be flexibly adapted, whether you live in an urban hut or a high-rise .” + Moya Power Via Wired and Royal College of Art Images via Transport for London Flickr and Moya Power/Royal College of Art

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Moya Power tests sheeting material to harvest wind power from London’s Crossrail

The Ocean Cleanup raises $21.7 million to begin ridding the Pacific Ocean of plastic

May 3, 2017 by  
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Last fall The Ocean Cleanup found 1,000 large pieces of plastic in two hours in the Pacific Ocean during their first aerial reconnaissance mission. Today the Dutch foundation announced they’ve raised $21.7 million, and can now begin large-scale trials of their passive plastic capturing technology – in the Pacific – as soon as this year. The Pacific Ocean, plagued by the Texas-sized Great Pacific Garbage Patch , desperately needs to be cleaned up. The Ocean Cleanup is ready to tackle the problem with their plastic gathering technology tested in the North Sea thanks to new funding amounting to $21.7 million. Investors include Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne Benioff and entrepreneur Peter Thiel . Related: World’s first ocean trash recon mission is complete – and the results are way worse than we thought Founder and CEO Boyan Slat said in a statement, “Our mission is to rid the world’s oceans of plastic, and this support is a major leap forward towards achieving this goal. Thanks to the generous support of these funders, the day we’ll be returning that first batch of plastic to shore is now in sight.” The Ocean Cleanup’s technology draws on ocean currents to collect trash and could reduce the theoretical cleanup time of plastic in the Pacific Ocean from millennia down to years – their Ocean Cleanup Array could scoop up almost half of the patch’s garbage in 10 years . When they launch their technology in the Pacific later this year, it will be the first experimental cleanup system in that ocean, according to the foundation. The Ocean Cleanup will share more details at the Werkspoorkathedraal , an exhibition in the Netherlands, on May 11 at 2:00 PM EST. According to their website the talk will unveil The Next Phase and share “what we’ve been working on for the past two years, and what will be happening next.” They’ll be live streaming the event on their website . + The Ocean Cleanup Images courtesy of The Ocean Cleanup

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The Ocean Cleanup raises $21.7 million to begin ridding the Pacific Ocean of plastic

Environmentalists question ‘worrisome’ NYC plan to pour chlorine in sewers

May 3, 2017 by  
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Every year around 20 billion gallons of untreated sewage streams into the waterways of New York City during overwhelming rainfalls. Attempting to stave off health risks, the city has a plan: pour chlorine into sewer pipes. But environmental advocates say the technique is shortsighted and worrisome. The city has attempted a few fixes to the issue, such as new retention tanks and greenery planted to reduce runoff. Now they want to disinfect wastewater inside pipes with chlorine; those pipes lead to three bodies of water in the Bronx and Queens . Riverkeeper staff lawyer Sean Dixon told The New York Times, “They’re using the most worrisome and unproven technique that we have in our toolbox. It’s like they’re grabbing the last straw and using the cheapest and least effective method.” Related: Danish city becomes world’s first to power water treatment plant with sewage Dixon said chlorine sometimes doesn’t even disinfect sewage completely, and doesn’t treat certain toxins. Further, residual chlorine can harm marine life . Chlorination is commonly utilized in wastewater treatment plans, not pipes that run into waterways. New York City Department of Environmental Protection spokesperson Ted Timbers said chlorine is “the most widely used disinfectant for water and wastewater treatment in the U.S.” He said the plan had been talked about in meetings with the public, and that chlorination would occur from May to October. Queens College hydrologist Timothy Eaton said chlorine can be effective in controlled settings, but with unpredictable changes in sewage flow, residual chlorine could be left behind and the exact dosage would be tricky to get right. He told The New York Times, “It’s very difficult to predict the amount of water you’re going to get at any period of time. If you overdose it, you’re basically treating Flushing Creek and Flushing Bay like swimming pools .” Via The New York Times Images via Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons

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World’s first ocean trash recon mission is complete – and the results are way worse than we thought

October 4, 2016 by  
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The Ocean Cleanup just completed its first aerial reconnaissance scan of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to assess how serious the problem of ocean plastic has become – and the results are worse than anyone expected. At a press conference in Mountain View, California, teenage inventor, CEO and founder Boyan Slat announced that the organization spotted over 1000 large pieces of plastic debris in just 2 hours. Aerial Expedition – Ocean Force One Tour Take a tour aboard the Ocean Force One, which is set to map the Great Pacific Garbage Patch this weekend. Posted by The Ocean Cleanup on Thursday, September 29, 2016 The Ocean Cleanup Aerial Expedition is using a modified C- 130 Hercules aircraft, finely tuned human observers, and a variety of scanning equipment based on lidar technology . Related: Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup takes to the air to survey the Great Pacific Garbage Patch They reported their initial findings, confirming the expected overabundance of plastic waste between the size of .5 meter or 1.5 feet and larger in the ocean garbage patch. While the crew only flew across the northern boundary of the patch for 2.5 hours, they still spotted over one thousand items. Anna Schwarz, a research assistant who was sitting right next to the open door on the flight, said: “It was unbelievable, there was trash floating everywhere, as far as the eye could see” Flight one successfully completed! Initial results will be shared at press conference Monday 11am PT. Posted by The Ocean Cleanup on Sunday, October 2, 2016 Watch the video above to get a glimpse of the first flight Laurent Le Breton, the Modeler on aerial research team described the cumulative impression of the ocean trash in this poetic way: “It’s like looking at the night sky filled with stars. You can see them everywhere you look, with space in between all of the large chunks. When you zoom in close you can only see one at a time, but from high up in the air, they extend infinitely in every direction.” Ocean Cleanup’s aerial solution to gathering data on this vulnerable stretch of ocean halfway between the California Coast and Hawaii began in August of 2015 with its breakthrough Mega Expedition project, which mapped an area of 3.5 million square kilometers. The follow-up Aerial Expedition in the Pacific Ocean is the first-ever aerial survey of of an ocean garbage patch and is focusing on the largest and most harmful pieces of debris, such as Ghost Nets. Once all of the flights are completed later this week, the findings from both expeditions will be published in a peer-reviewed paper early 2017. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a massive vortex of swirling plastic flotsam, in an area larger than the size of Texas – located about halfway between San Francisco, California and Hawaii. Floating garbage accumulates in this area due to the ocean currents, which swirl around in a vortex pattern, slowly consolidating floating garbage into the center of the gyre. The floating trash ranges from tiny microscopic plastic particles, to water bottles, plastic forks and spoons, plastic bags, to much larger chunks that can be over 1 meter across – including discarded fishing debris such as buoys and “Ghost Nets”. “Ghost Nets” are discarded nets, often many meters in diameter, which are notorious for ensnaring both sea life and ship propellers. + Ocean Cleanup https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D41rO7mL6zM Images via Ocean Cleanup

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World’s first ocean trash recon mission is complete – and the results are way worse than we thought

Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup takes to the air to count plastic trash in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

October 3, 2016 by  
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IjaZ2g-21E The concept behind the Ocean Cleanup Array is so simple that many have criticized the device as being “too good to be true,” especially given the project’s $2.2 million price tag. However, the results of a year-long feasibility study and a test run in the North Sea this summer prove the contraption works. Slat aims, though, to clean up 42 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch’s plastic pollution in the next 10 years, and that goal will likely take much more than the initial crowdfunded budget. Critics say the cost is higher than the reward, but they might change their minds when they find out how big the problem really is. Related: Boyan Slat’s Great Pacific Garbage Patch expedition shows the plastic problem is “even bigger than we thought” A bird’s eye view of ocean trash The controversy exists in part because nobody really knows how much plastic trash is floating in the ocean. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) first reported on the existence of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 1988 but due to its size and location, it has been difficult to assess just how much trash is caught up in the vortex. Slat’s Ocean Cleanup Project is attempting to find out, by deploying two low-speed, low-altitude reconnaissance flights from Moffett Airfield in its modified C-130 Hercules aircraft (named “Ocean Force One”) outfitted with high-tech sensors and expert spotters. The main drive behind the aerial survey is to identify and count the ghost nets, which have been deemed one of the biggest threats to marine animals . Today, Slat shared the initial findings of the first aerial survey, which took place yesterday along the northern edge of the Garbage Patch. Flight one successfully completed! Initial results will be shared at press conference Monday 11am PT. We’ll be broadcasting live here on Facebook. Posted by The Ocean Cleanup on Sunday, October 2, 2016 Slat spent some time explaining the technology used to assess the Garbage Patch. “One of [the reasons we’re using such a large aircraft] is the size of our crew… Really the only way to get there is to have an aircraft with a very large range. Even with this aircraft, we had to install two additional large fuel tanks to get the range that we needed to get all the way to the Garbage Patch,” said Slat about the 1,000-mile trip to the middle of the Pacific Ocean. He went on to explain that the aircraft was outfitted with “experimental sensors” being used for the first time to detect plastic in the ocean. Human observers were also on board to keep notes of their observations to aid in the expedition’s goal. They also used lidar technology (like radar, but using light) to get 3D images of objects under the surface of the water. What kind of trash is in the ocean? While it’s widely known that massive amounts of plastic trash have evaded the waste collection process and found their way into open waters, not all of the debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is made of plastic. Ghost nets are one key exception, and they wind up floating in the ocean when fishing boats leave them behind after they become entangled on a reef, rocky sea floor, or other debris. It’s not difficult to imagine how marine creatures can become trapped in these nearly invisible nets, unable to free themselves, since that is precisely the purpose of a fishing net. Although these nets are a major threat, much of the rest of the debris found in the Garbage Patch is small, confetti-like pieces of plastic and other materials that have been broken down over time, simultaneously making it easier for marine creatures to ingest them and making it more difficult to catch them with a cleanup net. Aerial Expedition – Ocean Force One Tour Take a tour aboard the Ocean Force One, which is set to map the Great Pacific Garbage Patch this weekend. Posted by The Ocean Cleanup on Thursday, September 29, 2016 Inhabitat had the chance to speak with Boyan Slat about the project. Based on what you are seeing so far, how are you feeling about the prospect of cleaning this up? “Sometimes there is a lot of talk about this just stuff being just small pieces or there not being a garbage patch, I think it is just sort of very hard to deny when you look at it out of the door of an aircraft and you just see this stuff everywhere…There is a lot of stuff out there, it is certainly more than we thought. As time goes by we actually start to start to feel more and more confident that we will be able to clean it up.” Slat estimates that 100km of array could clean up 50% of the patch, but the team is working on improving that. “We’re really trying to optimize the design, to make it higher. We’re always asking the question how can we make it more efficient, how can we make it faster, how can we make it cheaper.” Related: World’s first Ocean Cleanup Array will start removing plastic from the seas in 2016 When will the Ocean Cleanup Array tackle the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Despite ongoing criticisms, Slat remains confident that his Ocean Cleanup Array is an effective solution to one of the biggest environmental disasters on the globe, and his team is looking forward to a full deployment in the Pacific Ocean by 2020. In the meantime, a series of expeditions are being conducted to measure the size and scope of the Garbage Patch in order to plan cleanup efforts. A ‘Mega Expedition’ of 30 vessels ventured across the center of the Garbage Patch in the summer of 2015 and worked to create the first high-resolution map of the trash vortex. The ongoing Aerial Expedition will cover some 2,316 square miles, an area 300 times the size of last year’s research mission. A Pacific Pilot test program is slated for the second half of 2017, inching closer to the 2020 launch date. You can watch the entire press conference here: NOW LIVE: Aerial Expedition press conference Posted by The Ocean Cleanup on Monday, October 3, 2016   + The Ocean Cleanup Project + Boyan Slat Images via NOAA News ,  The Ocean Cleanup Project , and  NOAA Marine Debris  

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Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup takes to the air to count plastic trash in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Ocean Cleanup launches historic first prototype thanks to Dutch backing

June 24, 2016 by  
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Cleaning up our oceans just got one step closer to reality as The Ocean Cleanup just launched the first prototype of a device that will capture floating plastic pollution. After winning the prestigious Katerva Award last month, the project is now starting a year-long test partially funded by the Dutch government. The prototype boom will be towed to 12 and a half miles out in the North Sea today. At 328 feet long, the device is the ” first ocean cleanup system ever tested at sea .” The prototype, which collects trash passively, is made of vulcanized rubber and is powered by ocean currents. Sensors will monitor the boom during the year. Data garnered will assist engineers as they develop a system more resistant to wind and waves. Related: Plastic-scooping Ocean Cleanup project wins prestigious Katerva Award Dutch Environment Minister Sharon Dijksma said in a press release , ” The Ocean Cleanup is an inspiring example of how we can tackle the growing problem of ocean pollution . I hope that with the help of the Dutch government, Boyan’s prototype will turn out to be the successful solution for cleaning up the mid-ocean gyres. This is crucial to prevent permanent damange to the environment and marine life, due to the degradation and fragmentation of plastic waste materials.” The purpose of the test is not necessarily to collect garbage, but to see how the system handles North Sea storms, often more relentless than those out in the Pacific Ocean , where The Ocean Cleanup ultimately hopes to deploy their system. But as a side bonus, some plastic might be scooped up by the prototype. Slat calculated there’s a 30 percent chance the prototype could break during the test, but said whether it breaks or stays intact the test will still be beneficial. He said, “This is a historic day on the path toward clean oceans. A successful outcome of this test should put us on track to deploy the first operational pilot system in late 2017.” + The Ocean Cleanup Via The Guardian Images courtesy of The Ocean Cleanup

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Ocean Cleanup launches historic first prototype thanks to Dutch backing

VIDEO: How the Oceans Can Clean Themselves of 7.25 Million Tons of Plastic Pollution

June 17, 2014 by  
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Click here to view the embedded video. By now you’ve probably heard about the issue of ocean plastic pollution – but do you know just how pervasive the problem is? Every year we produce 300 million tons of plastic – and there’s currently 7.25 million tons of waste circulating the ocean in massive gyres like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch . In this inspiring TED talk teenager Boyan Slat shows just how bad our plastic problem is – and he proposes a brilliant solution. Watch the video above to find out what it is! + TED Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Boyan Slat , great pacific garbage patch , ocean cleanup , Ocean Cleanup Array , ocean gyres , plastic , plastic pollution , TED , Video , Waste , water issues

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